D5 green affordable homes and jobs   hand out - meghan walsh
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D5 green affordable homes and jobs hand out - meghan walsh

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With the high unemployment rate, the prospect of an emerging green economy is increasingly viewed as the “light at end of a long dark tunnel” by many leaders and job seekers. This session will ...

With the high unemployment rate, the prospect of an emerging green economy is increasingly viewed as the “light at end of a long dark tunnel” by many leaders and job seekers. This session will provide examples of green job creation in the construction and affordable housing industry.

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D5 green affordable homes and jobs   hand out - meghan walsh D5 green affordable homes and jobs hand out - meghan walsh Document Transcript

  •   Green Affordable Homes and Job Creation at the Housing Assistance Councils Rural Housing Conference on Friday, December 7th from 10:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.: Meghan Walsh USDA Rural Housing Service has been a key player in the White House Harmonization effort called Rental Policy Working Group.  I have been directly involved with two sub‐groups of this effort – one is the Energy Efficiency working group, and the other is the Capital Needs Assessment group.    The implementation of higher standards of energy‐efficient building construction demands increased skills and qualifications of people in the building industry. From contractors, to green building consultants, CNA providers to alternative energy suppliers, the USDA programs are contributing to the demand for people in rural areas to fill these roles.    One of the more successful projects in the RD Single Family Housing, Self‐Help program was a development of homes in rural Illinois that utilized the help of Youth Build, Inc, a national 501c3 that trains GED students in construction trades.  This neighborhood was built and certified as LEED Silver.  These kinds of collaborations show the great potential of training the next generation in the ever‐changing building technologies of green and energy‐efficient building construction.  Issues/Challenges and Opportunities Rural areas are sometimes challenged to meet the national green building standard  requirements because there are fewer qualified individuals to facilitate these programs.   For example, LEED for Homes requires “Green Raters” and to become qualified as an  Energy Star Home under the latest Energy Star for Homes V3, it is required that there is  a certified builder, rater and that the HVAC contractor is certified with the EPA.    There  are barriers to entry into these qualifications such as online access, time, and cost of  certifications.  For small builders, this is more challenging than large developers.   Builders in rural areas, working on small projects seem to be the ones who are more  vulnerable to falling behind the times in these kinds of new market skills demands.     Discussion Questions  Question 1:  What can we all do to help the small builders in rural areas obtain more  certifications to be competitive in the energy‐efficient building market?  Associations  within the building industry and other groups can serve to assist in promotion of  attainment of higher credentials to be prepared for the energy‐efficient building future.  Organizations like ACCA – the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, which is one of 
  •   the only national certification programs for this EPA requirement are eager to be of  assistance in qualifying new members. What other ideas are there?   Question 2:  Is Youth Build present at the HAC conference?  What is Youth Build doing  to train youth as certified energy auditors, green raters, etc.  At a Dept. of Labor event  for Youth Build a couple of years ago, it appeared that some chapters were more  focused on developing these skills than others. How can more Youth Build chapters tap  into this and how can other industry associations support them?   Question 3: Following up on Q2, what other programs such as vocational schools and  community colleges are focusing on credentialing their students?  How can these  numbers be increased, particularly in rural America?