Pennsylvania Achieves Milestone in Weatherizing Homes; More Training

More than 1,000 Workers Already Trained; 1,000 More to Receive Training

HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell has announced that Pennsylvania is more than halfway toward its goal to help nearly 30,000 low-income homeowners improve their energy efficiency and reduce costs. Training will help prepare 1,000 more weatherization installers, crew chiefs and auditors across the state in the coming year.

“We are making great progress weatherizing low-income homes, work that creates jobs, conserves energy and reduces costs for homeowners,” Rendell said.

“Over the past 11 months, 15,027 homes across the state — just over 50 percent of our 29,700 goal — were weatherized as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded initiative in Pennsylvania.”

Approximately 1,800 people have jobs and skills that can carry well into the future economy because of the weatherization work on these homes.

“Those homeowners are now saving an average of $600 each year on their energy costs. But this effort is about more than simply saving energy and money; this Recovery Act-funded initiative is boosting local economies across the state,” the Governor said, noting that more than $22.3 million has been invested so far in materials and supplies for the weatherization initiative.

“Over the past year, we trained and certified 1,026 workers on ways to help reduce energy costs for Pennsylvania families,” Rendell said. “The demand for these workers is growing. Through the Recovery Act, we expect to train and certify another 1,000 weatherization workers.”

Seven recipients will use a total of $799,000 in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to continue providing weatherization training to students learning to become weatherization installers, crew chiefs and auditors. The funds will also provide weatherization instructors with Building Performance Institute, or BPI, certification. BPI is a nationally recognized credential for energy-efficiency and weatherization retrofit work.

“As long as people are struggling to pay mortgages, keep the power on and keep their families warm, Pennsylvania should take the necessary steps to provide the help those people need,” Rendell said. “Weatherizing homes and increasing energy efficiency saves real money that can help families to put coats on kids and food on the table.”

Pennsylvania’s Weatherization Assistance Program provides energy retrofits to lowincome homes. While the weatherization work is coordinated through the

Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Labor & Industry coordinates all weatherization training. Individuals performing weatherization work for the program must be certified to ensure that work done on a consumer’s home is completed safely and provides the greatest possible energy savings.

The training grants are part of a joint effort by the departments of Labor & Industry and Community and Economic Development to enhance a Weatherization

Assistance Program providing training and career-focused employment to Pennsylvania’s workforce, creating green jobs, improving residential energy efficiency and promoting economic recovery. Prospective students should contact their PA CareerLink® for enrollment information.

Visit www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us to find the nearest office.

For additional information about American Recovery and Reinvestment Act initiatives in Pennsylvania, visit www.recovery.pa.gov.

Editor’s Note: Following is a list of grant recipients with the counties they serve.

Adams, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties

· $100,000 – Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology

Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland counties

· $100,000 – Community College of Allegheny County/ Local 95

Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clarion, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson and

Somerset counties

· $100,000 – Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center

Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Schuylkill counties

· $100,000 – Lehigh Career and Technical Institute

Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming counties

· $100,000 – Johnson College

Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Elk, Juniata, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder and Union counties

· $199,000 – Pennsylvania College of Technology

Delaware and Philadelphia counties

· $100,000 – Energy Coordinating Agency

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