The Pulaski Technical College Weatherization Training Center will host a grand opening celebration Friday, October 29 at 10 a.m. on the main campus in North Little Rock. The event marks the opening of the new training center and also observes National Weatherization Day.
The event will include tours of the new training center, as well as remarks from U.S. Congressman Vic Snyder; North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays; Thomas Green, assistant director of the State Office of Community Services of the Arkansas Department of Human Services; Rose Adams, executive director, Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association; and representatives from Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Centerpoint Entergy and Pulaski Technical College.
Utilizing a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Energy grant, the new Pulaski Technical College Weatherization Training Center will be responsible for providing training for weatherization installers, auditors and technicians as well as weatherization crew chiefs and other “green” jobs relevant to efficient energy usage. The center will provide green job training for local workers in energy efficiency retrofitting and weatherization services, enabling skilled workers to expand the use of energy efficient practices in the state’s homes and businesses.
“The Arkansas Department of Human Services–Weatherization Assistance Program has provided leadership in weatherization work in Arkansas for many years, and they have been an indispensible partner in this endeavor,” said Mary Ann Shope, vice president for economic development at Pulaski Tech. “The new training center will provide our workforce with most up-to-date training available in Arkansas.”
Beginning in 2011, Pulaski Tech will work with other state agencies and colleges to train workers across the state with a mobile weatherization training lab equipped with an array of training modules similar to those at the Pulaski Tech site.
Prior to October 29, 2010, only twelve Weatherization Training Centers existed in the United States. The opening of the WTC at Pulaski Technical College marks the thirteenth Weatherization Training Center, and the first in the United States in a community college.
The U.S. Department of Energy awarded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant funds to support America’s commitment to a clean energy future, including $5 billion to significantly ramp up the pace of weatherization in the United States. Nationally, the training programs will support a range of public and private energy efficiency efforts, including the Department’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which has already funded the weatherization of nearly 200,000 homes since last February, using both Recovery Act and annual program funds.
About Weatherization Day
Weatherization Day was conceived as a means to focus local, state, and national attention on the program and the work being performed by the workforce that provides weatherization assistance to low income families is known as the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) network.
Capitalizing on the Department of Energy’s declaration of October as Energy Awareness Month, Weatherization Programs across the country endeavor to raise the public’s awareness of the work done every day.