In early November, the Green Impact Zone hosted two job fairs for residents interested in green jobs funded by energy grants that will help weatherize homes and businesses in the zone and surrounding neighborhoods. As a direct result, 12 people started training in late November and 12 more start training today.
Workforce development is an important part of both the Green Impact Zone’s Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program (LIWAP), funded by a $4.5 million grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and EnergyWorks KC, funded by a $20 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. Both grants are part of the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus program.
The LIWAP program will weatherize 659 homes in the Green Impact Zone and surrounding neighborhoods over the next 20 months. The Mid-America Regional Council hired Zimmer Energy Solutions to manage the program. Zimmer’s team members, Hathmore Technologies, Greenleaf Construction, and Legacy Builders will handle client intake and application, conduct energy audits and perform weatherization work.
EnergyWorks KC will help property owners — residential, commercial and institutional—in seven Kansas City neighborhoods, including the Green Impact Zone, with energy retrofits and weatherization. EnergyWorks KC is targeted to owners who do not meet the low-income guidelines in the LIWAP program, helping them find resources to undertake needed weatherization. EnergyWorks KC is a partnership that includes the city of Kansas City, Mo., Mid America Regional Council (MARC), the Metropolitan Energy Center, KCP&L and Missouri Gas Energy.
After the job fairs, the Full Employment Council (FEC) conducted initial screening and participated in employer interviews. Job commitments to date include:
- Residential Energy Efficiency Client Service Coordinators
- Metropolitan Energy Center (7)
- Hathmore Technologies (3)
- Tinmaster (2)
- Residential Energy Auditors
- Tinmaster (12)
Once employers commit to hiring, the FEC covers the costs of training, books, course materials and any necessary certifications. Residents who are accepted into the program are guaranteed jobs upon successful completion of the training.
The Client Service Coordinator training began on Nov. 29 at the Green Impact Zone office, 4600 Paseo. The four-week, non-paid session includes both classroom and hands-on training. The Energy Auditor training session, a five-week course, begins on Dec. 6 at the University of Central Missouri’s Lee’s Summit campus.
Contractors anticipate more hiring of zone residents for both union and non-union weatherization jobs in the coming months.
The Green Impact Zone is a 150-square-block area of the urban core, stretching from 39thto 51ststreets and from Troost to Prospect and Swope Parkway. With help from federal stimulus funds, Green Impact Zone neighborhood leaders and other partners are working to transform the zone into a sustainable community, making it more energy efficient with SmartGrid technology; improving streets, sidewalks and curbs; adding and upgrading transit services; weatherizing homes; and bringing new businesses and jobs to the area.
Information courtesy of MARC
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