This is the second in a three part series on the Green Pathways for Prosperity Tour. Check back to see more of the awesome green job opportunities that are going on right here in New Mexico.
As much fun as I was having with the Youthworks River Restoration crew, we still had to move on to see some other green jobs involving young people. Yet, we were going to see something much different from the river restoration project. We were on our way to see the EnergyWorks crew performing energy efficiency retrofits on a Santa Fe home.
Within the emerging green economy, home efficiency retrofits are looked upon as a great entry level green job that can provide many people with an occupation. Retrofits performed on homes also greatly contribute to decreasing overall emissions from buildings and saves residents money on their utility bills.
The program in Santa Fe is a collaboration between the Santa Fe Housing Community Trust and Youthworks. Here’s a quick synopsis of the program from the Housing Trust’s Resource Development Manager, Daniel Werwath:
“EnergyWorks is an integrated residential home energy efficiency pilot program that combines green job training, workforce development, low-cost energy savings installation and youth educational components to address multiple pressing community needs. The primary structure of the program is based around an energy audit and a regime of energy saving items under $100 that is installed in under two hours by a three-person crew of green jobs interns, at no cost to the homeowner.”
Werwath continued, “As part of the program, YouthWorks crewmembers also receive free G.E.D. classes and participate in two entry-level classes at the Santa Fe Community College. Since the launch of the program one crew member has received their G.E.D. and two have enrolled in the Community College full time.”
This program originally was being funded by the Sierra Club and the City of Santa Fe, but now they are using the Community Development Block Grant Recovery program funds from the Federal Recovery Package. The EnergyWorks program is a great example of how our Recovery funds have been put to good use.
So after receiving the informative briefing from Daniel, the group on the tour was led to a home where some trained retrofitters were hard at work. Here’s Miguel Olivas explaining some of the work he is doing with doorways and windows to make them more efficient: