District Council 37 (DC 37), New York City’s largest municipal labor union, today announced a new training initiative to prepare workers for energy efficiency jobs related to addressing the impact of climate change.
The DC 37 Green Jobs Training Initiative, which will launch this spring, will provide technical training, environmental literacy, and hands-on experience to train a portion of its 150,000 members and the general public.
Building on DC 37’s existing education and workforce training programs that provide City workers with basic job skills, technical training, and leadership development, this new expanded partnership will provide City employees with the experience and confidence to be the next generation of green job workers.
DC 37’s goal is to develop essential, sustainable training components and grow an energy efficiency economy, equipped to spearhead future demands of green jobs for a cleaner New York.
The DC 37 Education Fund (EdFund) manages training and workforce development on behalf of the union and has helped make it possible for thousands of DC 37 members to improve their foundational skills, technical competencies, and leadership capacity.
“Green jobs are the wave of the future and DC 37 is proud to be part of the effort to end dirty buildings, reduce carbon emissions, and create good jobs,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director District Council 37, AFSCME. “It’s the right thing to do and we cannot expect anybody else to do this for us. New York City should be taking the lead – not just a stand – in climate justice.”
In August 2019, the DC 37 Education Fund was awarded grant funding from NYSERDA’s Energy Efficiency and Clean Technology Training Fund.
More than 75 percent of pollution in New York is generated by buildings, and this program will position public sector workers at the front lines to mitigate the impact of climate change as New York City prepares to implement the most progressive energy efficiency laws in the United States.
The membership of DC 37 covers more than 1,000 different job titles, including the City’s engineers, building inspectors, and facility managers.
Through a partnership with the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), Energy Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), and Envirolution One, DC 37 will create opportunities for industry-recognized credentials that will lead to advancement in multiple career sectors, including clean technology, building sciences, energy conservation and environmental engineering.
The DC 37 Green Jobs Training Initiative will consist of two-to-three 3-hour Zoom training sessions per week with a handful of sessions to take place physically at AEA’s training facility.
Training will provide members with a foundation of the residential, multi-family and small commercial building energy efficiency upgrade process.
The courses will also speak to work on electrical systems, mechanical systems and operations, and maintenance essentials.
The in-person training will take place in state-of-the-art heating and cooling labs. Participants will be prepared for the Building Performance Institute (BPI) Multifamily Building Analyst certification and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Certified Energy Auditor certification.
“The Energy Economic Development Corporation is excited to partner with District Council 37, the Association for Energy Affordability, and Envirolution One in support of NYSERDA-sponsored Energy Efficiency and Clean Technology Training,” said James Hendon, Chief Executive Officer Energy Economic Development. “Founded on core values of transparency, tenacity, selflessness, and empowerment, Energy EDC is proud to actuate a shared vision with DC 37, AEA, and E1 of helping members and affiliates of DC 37 advance themselves in the energy efficiency sector. Our goal is to develop a blueprint through which DC 37 members and affiliates hone their skills in the clean technology space. This will, in turn, benefit graduates of the training program professionally, help government leaders lower building energy costs, and aid in meeting New York City’s carbon emissions reduction goals.”
“DC 37 is taking a proactive approach to developing and strengthening the capacity of public employees in New York to achieve City’s aggressive climate goals” said David Hepinstall, Executive Director of Association for Energy Affordability, Inc. “We are proud to partner with DC 37 and to contribute AEA’s expert training in building energy efficiency for all levels of workers and professionals, delivered through classroom and hands-on courses at our Energy Management Training Center. This project will advance NYC climate and workforce development goals and will also benefit the health and safety of occupants and neighbors of buildings throughout the City.”
“Envirolution One is honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with industry leaders such as the Energy Economic Development Corp and the Association of Energy Affordability to support DC-37 in meeting this challenge and building the foundation and the road-map for training the public sector clean energy workforce that will help drive the City’s transition into a clean energy, low-carbon, and sustainable future,” said Antuan Cannon Co-Founder & CEO of Envirolution.
DC 37 remains committed to providing essential education benefits to all members.
The union plans to do this in collaboration with professional partners and networks, which is just one way to prepare a 21st-century clean energy efficiency workforce.
The union’s members are responsible for keeping New York City safe, educated, healthy, and working, which requires a continuously evolving skillset and knowledge base in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
Photo credit: Green New Deal Press conference.