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.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.