BPA Applauds Introduction “The Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Act”
February 27, 2019
The Building Performance Association strongly supports H.R. 1315, “The Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Act of 2019,” which aims to support training for employment in clean energy industries including residential energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits, and is being considered during a U.S. House of Representatives hearing today on “Clean Energy Infrastructure and the Workforce to Build It.”
“Jobs in the energy efficiency and clean energy industries exist, and we need qualified workers to fill them,” Leticia Colon de Mejias, Policy Co-Chair of HPC and CEO of contracting firm Energy Efficiencies Solutions in Windsor, Connecticut, said today in her testimony today before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy.
More than 2.25 million Americans work in the energy efficiency industry, according to the 2018 Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report issued by E4TheFuture – with 57% in construction and repair work. But companies are struggling to find trained, qualified workers. Small businesses can be hesitant to invest in training workers who may change jobs and the cost of building science training has increased as clean technology grows more sophisticated. Jobs in energy-efficient lighting, HVAC, insulation and air sealing, energy management technology are available, but trained professionals are in short supply.
“We need to help train our existing employees, keeping them up to date on emerging technologies and health and safety practices,” Colon de Mejias said. “We need a comprehensive, nationwide program to improve education and training for workers in the efficiency and clean energy industries, including manufacturing, engineering, construction, and building retrofitting jobs. This is exactly what the Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Act of 2019 would create.”
“We have barely scratched the surface of meeting America’s energy efficiency and renewable energy potential,” said Kara Saul-Rinaldi, Vice-President of Government Affairs and Policy for the Building Performance Association. “With more resources to provide training for these high-quality jobs providing energy efficiency and renewable energy products and services, especially for small businesses that cannot afford the training, the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries can continue to grow. This legislation will result in not only more American workers creating more efficient, comfortable, and resilient homes, but also in a healthier environment for all of us.”