DURANGO/MANCOS – Pueblo Community College has established a new weatherization training center and solar training lab on its Southwest Colorado Community College West Campus in Mancos and will begin offering classes this fall in both energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Pueblo Community College was awarded these grants to retrain construction workers and subcontractors in building science and energy retrofits. The training will be offered in a non-credit, condensed format designed for working adults or workers needing skills fast in order to gain employment.
The first classes being offered are:
- Commercial Energy Auditor – September 12 – 16
This course teaches plant and facility managers and residential energy professionals to manage commercial buildings with energy efficiency in mind. Instruction will be given in best energy efficiency practices, rating building energy efficiency, engaging employees in energy conservation and tracking energy savings and greenhouse emissions reduction over time.
- Intro to Solar PV Installation – October 17 – 21
The Solar PV Installation class is a hands-on intensive training designed to prepare individuals to be certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level. The course covers both stand alone and grid-tie solar electrical systems.
The new training labs were funded by a combination of grants from the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment and the U.S. Department of Energy. The grants also cover scholarships for this training. Scholarships are still available.
Other energy training also scheduled at the Mancos site is already full but will be offered again next spring or fall. These are:
- Building Analyst – This course teaches the skills needed in the field of residential energy.
- Air Leakage Control Installer – This course is for insulation contractors and energy retrofit work and also prepares individuals for BPI certification.
- Heating Professional – This is training to evaluate the performance and efficiency of home heating systems and prepares individuals for BPI certification.
All of this energy efficiency training is part of the federal government’s desire to make homes, especially older ones, and commercial buildings more energy efficient because of the rising cost of utilities. They also reflect the fact that building science has changed significantly in recent years because building practices previously did not adequately address issues such as air leakage, heat transfer and energy efficiency.
“It’s a whole new concept to people today, and energy retrofit is a new industry offering ‘green jobs’ for the construction trades,” noted Judy Fosdick, who is PCC’s renewable energy instructor. “Older homes were simply not built to be energy efficient, and these classes will enable contractors and construction workers to learn innovative techniques for improving a home’s performance.”
According to Shannon South, Dean of the West campus, “It is exciting for the college to be able to provide this valuable training in energy conservation!”