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Contact: Marilynn Fryer
(517) 796-8466
e-mail: FryerMarilynT@jccmi.edu
June 21, 2010
For immediate release

JCC awarded $400k in stimulus dollars to bring weatherization training center to South Central Michigan

Education and training opportunities to provide more jobs in the Jackson County area and valuable weatherization assistance will now be possible at Jackson Community College thanks to federal grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Jackson Community College, in collaboration with Focus: HOPE of Detroit, Henry Ford Community College, and WARM Training Center of Detroit, will work to develop a weatherization training center at the Jackson campus.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced 34 projects in 27 states selected to receive $29 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to develop and expand weatherization training centers across the country. These projects will provide green job training for local workers in energy efficiency retrofitting and weatherization services. With this training, skilled workers can help expand the use of energy efficient practices in America’s homes and businesses. This Michigan project will receive $848,172 in Recovery Act funding, about half coming to Jackson. The total project cost is $1,061,565, with costs shared by partners.

The Michigan Weatherization Training Expansion project will increase training currently available through Henry Ford Community College, Focus: HOPE, and WARM Training Center of Detroit. WARM currently offers a weatherization specialist training program in cooperation with HFCC. This grant funding will allow them to expand their current program and also duplicate the program here in Jackson County. JCC will develop new curricular offerings to educate weatherization specialists, beginning in 2011 with non-credit, continuing education courses.

“This initiative will provide a new training area that hasn’t been available locally, and it will provide more trained specialists to help with weatherizing homes and businesses,” said Special Assistant to the President Rebekah Woods. JCC has established courses in sustainability and alternative energy under the guidance of Mark Rabinsky, sustainability director, and this new program will broaden those efforts. In addition to seeking new and alternative energy sources, increasing energy efficiency through efforts like weatherization is important to improving sustainability.

“A well-trained workforce will be a crucial part of America’s clean energy economy in the years ahead,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “These investments in efficiency training programs will help build a foundation for long-term growth in America. Energy efficiency improves the competitiveness of our economy, benefits the environment, and puts Americans back to work.”

Using innovative approaches to weatherization training and standardized training curricula, these projects will help prepare weatherization workers, supervisors, and inspectors to maintain a high degree of quality in weatherization projects and to work in the growing field of energy efficiency retrofits. The centers and programs will offer training using a combination of classroom, online, and hands-on learning tools.

For more information on the program, please contact JCC Director of Sustainability Mark Rabinsky at mrabinsky@jccmi.edu.

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