September 25, 2013
Training for GPRO Green Professional Building Skills Training Certificate to be Offered in Spanish for the First Time, Funding Through Green Jobs-Green New York
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced a new continuing education program with LaGuardia Community College to provide training in green building operations and maintenance practices taught in Spanish and to connect training graduates with jobs in the industry.
The program, Carreras Verdes, is offered through LaGuardia Community College’s NYDesigns, a program of the Division of Adult and Continuing Education. It will provide a Green Professional Building Skills Training (GPRO) certificate course in Spanish, as well as hands-on practical training. In addition, NYDesigns is working with a number of employers in the green building industry to expand job opportunities for program graduates.
NYSERDA provided nearly $125,000 in funding for NYDesigns to translate and deliver Spanish-language GPRO training in “Fundamentals of Building Green” and “Operations & Maintenance Essentials.” The funding is through Green Jobs-Green New York (GJGNY), a program created by New York State to significantly increase the number of energy-efficiency improvements in the state while creating green jobs.
“This program meets a need for 21st-century training for jobs in the growing clean-energy industry in New York State, and helps Spanish speakers in New York City participate in that growth,” said Tom Barone, Acting Vice President of Operations and Energy Services, NYSERDA. “It will help create the skilled workforce to support Governor Cuomo’s economic development and energy initiatives as the State continues to aggressively address energy consumption and climate change issues.”
This is the first time GPRO training will be offered in Spanish. GPRO is a comprehensive national training and certificate program developed by Urban Green Council, the New York chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, which teaches the people who build, renovate and maintain buildings the principles of sustainability combined with trade-specific green construction knowledge. GPRO is geared toward people directly responsible for a building’s energy use, including operating engineers, building superintendents and property managers.
GPRO Certificate holders are positioned to meet the expectations of owners and tenants who prioritize healthier, environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient homes and offices. Participants learn how to practically apply green building techniques such as optimizing building performance, improving energy and lighting efficiency, maintaining high indoor air quality, and working with sustainability experts such as energy auditors.
“Few affordable opportunities in New York City combine sustainability training in the trades with practical application in a single program,” said Natalia Argüello, Director of NYDesigns. “Fewer to none exist for Spanish speakers.”
Through Carreras Verdes, NYDesigns addresses this need by offering practical training in energy efficiency and sustainability skills entirely in Spanish at no cost to participants. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, Latinos are in great need of new employment opportunities. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Latinos in the U.S. was 9.3 percent in August 2013, compared to 7.3 percent for all Americans. The green building industry represents a promising professional opportunity for Latinos to secure a place in today’s rapidly evolving labor market.
Translation of GPRO into Spanish will be completed in December 2013. Training is slated to begin in the spring of 2014 and will take place at NYDesigns’ headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. Each training course will run for approximately two weeks.
“Training building operators and managers how to transition to sustainable practices is one of the most cost-effective ways to make buildings healthier and more valuable while reducing their impact on the environment,” said Ellen Honigstock, Director of Construction Education at Urban Green Council. “We are thrilled that NYDesigns is translating GPRO materials into Spanish to make green Operations and Management training more available to this important audience.”
More information about Carreras Verdes will be available at www.nydesigns.org. For more information about GPRO, visit www.gpro.org.
For more information on funding for clean energy training providers seeking to deliver entry-level technical training and internship support, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/workforce.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975. For more information, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram.
Last Updated: 11/25/2013
Dayle Zatlin, Assistant Director of Communications
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