January 25, 2024 — IREC and a diverse network of partners today announced Green Workforce Connect—a new home weatherization career platform that will connect job seekers, students, and contractors to local training providers and employers.

The new initiative will support career growth in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program to help low-income households make their homes more energy efficient. Weatherization professionals help families lower their energy bills and save money, increase their health and safety, and lower stress on the electric grid. 

Yet even as such jobs are in high demand, weatherization providers are struggling to fill open positions. As the industry grows, Green Workforce Connect will drive the careers of new home energy professionals and contractors, especially those from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups. 

“Facilitating the growth of a diverse clean energy workforce is central to IREC’s mission,” said Larry Sherwood, President and CEO at IREC. “We are incredibly excited to join our partners and introduce this dynamic, user-friendly platform that will help launch new careers in the home weatherization industry.”

Green Workforce Connect will be a central hub for job seekers, contractors, and other stakeholders to learn about weatherization careers and connect directly with employers in their area. While it is not a traditional job board, it provides opportunities to connect directly with local employers and training providers. It offers compelling and extensively vetted information about why weatherization matters, what different job roles involve, and much more.

Today, Green Workforce Connect is being unveiled in a pilot phase which covers jobs in three states—Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The platform will be expanded to a national scope later in 2024. A priority of this initiative will be to reach new and diverse audiences and help them access family-sustaining careers.

“Green Workforce Connect could not have arrived at a better time,” said Larry Zarker, CEO of the Building Performance Institute (BPI). “With more job opportunities in clean energy than ever before, job seekers need to know more about the training and certifications that can put them on a path to an exciting clean energy career. This platform will help more Americans learn about these rewarding careers and connect with training organizations and employers.”

The Green Workforce Connect platform invites users to explore detailed job descriptions and real career stories from the weatherization sector. Job seekers and contractors can take a quiz to assess if they are a good match for weatherization careers. From there, they can connect with organizations in the three pilot states that provide services as part of the Weatherization Assistance Program.

The platform contains an Outreach and Engagement Toolkit with a variety of pre-made and customizable materials to help organizations raise awareness about weatherization and recruit great candidates. It also includes a Contractor’s Guide to Success, which is designed to provide both new and existing contractors with valuable insights, strategies, and resources about the Weatherization Assistance Program.

“Green Workforce Connect will support new jobs that offer energy savings and home improvements to the families who need it the most,” said Cheryl Williams, Executive Director at the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). “This is an innovative, forward-looking platform that will help job seekers from diverse backgrounds launch their weatherization careers.”

Green Workforce Connect is the product of feedback from more than 600 weatherization stakeholders. Partners on the project include NASCP; BPI; National Community Action Partnership (NCAP); State of Wisconsin, Department of Administration, Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources (DEHCR), Slipstream; Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies (OKACAA); Oklahoma Department of Commerce; Habitat for Humanity of Greater Providence and East Bay; Clean Energy Center at Pennsylvania College; and Service Year Alliance.

Green Workforce Connect can be explored at GreenWorkforceConnect.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Avery Palmer, Communications Projects Director, IREC, [email protected], (202)-302-2765.