EnergyWorks KC Successes


Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) supports six organizations in the Kansas City region that provide workforce development training programs in energy efficiency, water conservation and deconstruction through the EnergyWorks KC (EWKC) program. EnergyWorks KC is made possible through a $20 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy received by the city of Kansas City, Mo., to transform the energy retrofit market for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, initially in seven targeted neighborhoods and then throughout the metropolitan area. As part of this effort, MARC is developing a jobs pipeline to provide a career path to green job opportunities, from training through certification to employment. Participants receive the necessary training and skills for energy efficiency retrofit careers, to work on EnergyWorks KC projects and for other green job opportunities.

By the end of June 2013, the workforce development initiative trained 240 individuals that participated in EnergyWorks KC workforce initiatives and placed 140 of them in jobs.


Metropolitan Energy Center

Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) is training workers in several fields, including energy conservation (commercial energy auditors, weatherization installation contractors and weatherization installation workers) and deconstruction and environmental remediation (deconstruction contractors, recycling and reclamation workers, hazardous materials removal workers, asbestos abatement workers, lead abatement workers, environmental compliance inspectors).

MEC offered Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) contractor training in concert with Kansas City Kansas Community College's (KCKCC) Winter 2013 Deconstruction Worker training. MEC partnered with KCKCC to launch a “green collar” employer consortium to better connect industry to highly trained workers and to ensure that training providers are responding to current needs of employers in green-collar fields.

Johnson County Community College

Johnson County Community College (JCCC) provides green job training to students, establishing a green jobs pipeline into the Kansas City area hospitality industry through its Sustainable Hospitality Internship program. The program integrates sustainable practices into Kansas City area restaurant operations. The interns will focus on improving the energy-efficiency and water conservation practices of area restaurants. The program is creating demand for a new type of competition — for the Green Restaurant Association certification — among restaurants in the region.

JCCC interns have completed two internships with The Farmhouse and EBT Restaurant. Currently, three interns are enrolled at the following restaurants: Room 39 (Mission Farms), The Rieger and PotPie.

Kansas City Kansas Community College

Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) provides a Construction Green-Up training program to prepare unskilled and low-income individuals for employment in green construction jobs. The project’s focus is on deconstruction training, which is defined as the selective dismantling or removal of materials from buildings before, or instead of, demolition.
KCKCC leveraged the National Minority Worker Training program to add environmental remediation industry certifications to the EWKC deconstruction class.

KCKCC developed a strong relationship with ReClaim Detroit, which delivered the BMRA curriculum to train local trainers starting in February. ReClaim Detroit trained local instructors to deliver the training in the future and helped build program infrastructure for an ongoing deconstruction paid job training program, drawing on the successful model that organization has employed in Detroit.

BMRA, in partnership with Metropolitan Community College (MCC), will create a national deconstruction standard curriculum, and KCKCC will be the primary delivery site for that training for at least the next three years.

University of Central Missouri

The University of Central Missouri (UCM) is providing two training programs that are a part of the National Energy Retrofit Institute program; Retrofit Brokers (RB) training and Residential Energy Client Service Coordinators (RECSC) training. The Retrofit Broker training focuses on underemployed real estate professionals who will provide direct property-owner awareness training. RECSC training will begin in April and target unemployed individuals who can provide customer service for property owners wanting to explore energy efficiency.

UCM held its first retrofit training in November and had 15 participants, with 14 of them accepting part-time contracts to help create homeowner awareness and conduct energy assessments. UCM started its second Retrofit Broker training in January with 15 individuals participating. This new occupation within the industry will help create consumer awareness. The April training will add lead generation and homeowner advocacy in addition to the original curriculum.

Metropolitan Community College

Metropolitan Community College has trained individual contractors and laborers in abatement and deconstruction and offered small business development training to 12 new and small businesses.

Kansas City is developing a reputation in the area of deconstruction. Strong collaboration has been developed with MEC and KCKCC to develop local BMRA trainers in the area of deconstruction. MCC is developing a curriculum for train-the-trainer and certificate test; MEC is training contractors; and KCKCC is training workers and delivering the training. As a result, the Kansas City area will become a regional BMRA training and testing center.

MCC is working with Full Employment Council (FEC) to implement an on-the-job training program to place residents trained in abatement and deconstruction into green jobs. FEC is working with the KCMO Crime Lab and Bancroft School projects to provide more opportunities in the area of deconstruction jobs.

Full Employment Council

The Full Employment Council has developed the Green KC Careers Training Initiative to increase the number of individuals trained and placed in deconstruction, water conservation and building energy efficiency. The FEC Green KC Careers program model provides green jobs certifications with work experience and energy efficiency classroom training combined with internship training.

FEC has recently initiated projects with new green employers proposing to do retrofits in residential and commercial areas. FEC has expanded its employer base and development of on-the-job training efforts to encompass a larger scope of employers that may have green industry jobs. Most recently, FEC has developed relationships with these employers and facilitated on-site hiring initiatives, where these employer interviewed and hired participant trainees in deconstruction positions.