Originally posted in The Weekly Challenger 9/19/2012
ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas County Urban League accomplished its goal last Friday, Sept. 14, when it graduated the last 22 students out of 100 who completed the basic weatherization training course.
These 100 young men and women learned entry-level construction skills from master trainers at the National Education Developers and the University of South Florida outreach training institute for the United States Department of Labor.
Sponsored by WorkNet Pinellas and funded by the Department of Energy, participating students received professional training in home performance and weatherization – covering residential energy efficiency retrofit work practices and standards.
Weatherization, or weatherproofing, is the practice of protecting a building and its interior from the elements and of modifying a building to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency.
Certified weatherization professionals are individuals who have been trained in these practices and are hired to work projects that are intended to reduce energy costs for low-income families by improving the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety.
Representatives from the National Education Developers were on hand to pass out the students credentials. These certified instructors used the programs from United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) to train.
When those last 22 students walked out of the room that day, they had verifiable industry credentials from NCCER in their pockets. Any potential employer will only have to log on to the NCCER’s website and view their transcripts.
This one week, 36 hour training course prepares and validates that a student is ready and able to move further in their education at Pinellas Technical Education Centers (PTEC), which is a two week course that then moves you on to a seven week course.
“Tightening up a building or house for heating and cooling is big business,” said master trainer Steve Moitozo, “and within less than two months you can have a new career that is in demand.”
The Urban League continues to provide opportunities for citizens of Pinellas County to train and learn new skills that will lead to gainful employment.
“Get your resumes together so that we can begin to create a bank of all of you, and will be able to lend your names out to some of these construction companies in the area,” said Watson Haynes, president and CEO of Pinellas County Urban League.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA), the Urban League weatherized over 1400 single family residents throughout Pinellas County and 200 multi-family units at the Rainbow Village complex located in Largo.
If you would like to find out more about Urban League services, please visit their website at http://www.pcul.org or call 727-327-2081.
In light of September being Workforce Development Month in Florida and on the heels of Labor Day, it seems appropriate to highlight a program that has been the essence for which the workforce development boards and One Stop System have been designed. One Stop Centers are intended to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers under one roof. Considered universal services, the