The first team of veteran energy efficiency professionals will graduate from the Veterans Green Jobs Academy™ Home Energy Auditor Training (HEAT) Program today at a celebration event to be held at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. In his Commencement Address, the Honorable Colorado Governor Bill Ritter will congratulate the Veterans Green Jobs Academy participants on their dedication to moving our country toward energy independence through the pursuit of ‘green’ careers that will benefit all Americans.
“I’m extremely proud to take part in this graduation ceremony and to welcome these heroic veterans to the New Energy Economy,” Gov. Ritter said. “By equipping military veterans with new training and new skills today, we are adding a vital new dimension to the workforce of tomorrow. Thanks to programs like Veterans Green Jobs, we are creating a new energy future for America and positioning Colorado for a strong economic recovery and a sustainable future.”
The 15 graduates of this HEAT program represent all branches of the military and all regions of the country. They have successfully completed a rigorous eight-week training program to gain skills in environmental studies, energy efficiency and conservation and weatherization. The Veterans Green Jobs Academy also helps veterans retool for meaningful green careers in land conservation and restoration, green building and retrofitting, disaster preparedness and response, and urban forestry. The Academy is a unique hybrid of classroom and on-the-job training designed to move the experienced, disciplined military veteran through their transition from duty overseas to meaningful work and future careers serving America here at home.
With a wide consortium of partners, Veterans Green Jobs developed the curriculum to provide veterans interested in green careers with the opportunity to gain general environmental education, college credits and a nationally recognized home energy auditing and weatherization certifications. This intensive training and rapid deployment model was designed to meet the growing consumer demand for experts to help lower residential energy consumption as well as the goals set by the Obama administration to conduct stimulus-funded energy surveys and audits on low-income homes.
“As Marine veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam and someone who has been active in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy for the last several decades, I am honored to support Veterans Green Jobs in strengthening America’s national, energy, homeland, environmental and economic security – all geared to the source and cost of energy, its impact on climate change, new industry development, and jobs. ACORE is proud to be working with Veterans Green Jobs because we see veterans’ skills, leadership and active involvement in these critical challenges as key to advancing the security and sustainability of the American Society,” said Bill Holmberg of the American Council On Renewable Energy.
Veterans Green Jobs is working to expand its Academy training programs into 5-10 additional states in 2009, and hopes to be in all 50 states as soon as possible in order to increase access to training and resources for veterans nationwide.
© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.