State Energy Sector Partnership Grant
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $5.9 million grant to the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board to support employment and training programs that prepare Massachusetts’ residents for jobs in the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector. There were five “Regional Teams” that were comprised of the Massachusetts workforce investment boards and three “Statewide Partners” that represented the Finishing Trades Institute of New England, the Plumbers Local 12 Education Fund and the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund that were sub-receipients of grant awards. The Regional Employment Board of Hampden County partnered with The Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board to provide the following training programs:
|Hampden||HVAC NATE* National Certification||Springfield Technical Community College||Unemployed HVAC Technicians|
|Hampden||BPI** Building Analyst||Holyoke Community College||Unemployed and dislocated workers|
|Hampden||BPI Multi-Family Analyst||Holyoke Community College||Unemployed and dislocated workers|
|Hampden||BPI Heating Specialist||Holyoke Community College||Unemployed and dislocated workers|
|Hampden||BPI Weatherization Installers||Springfield Technical Community College||Unemployed and dislocated workers|
|Hampden||Hydro-Mechanical Technicians||Holyoke Gas & Electric||Incumbent Workers|
|Worcester||NABCEP*** Photo Voltaic||Quinsigamond Community College||Local 104 Journeyman and apprentice Electricians|
|*North American Technician Excellence ** Building Performance Institute *** North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
Meet Stanley Karwoski, Senior Energy Advisor at Victory Energy Solutions and graduate of the Building Performance Institute Building Analyst and Envelope Professional training program at Holyoke Community College. Mr. Karwoski’s training was funded by a State Energy Sector Partnership grant from Commonwealth Corporation to the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County.
Mr. Karowski served in the United States Navy from 1969 to 1981. After an honorable discharge from the military, he worked at nuclear power plants, in construction, and facilities management for 30 years. After being laid off in September 2011, Mr. Karowski was unemployed for several months. Through networking, he learned of the training program at Holyoke Community College, which offered two nationally recognized credentials that are required to perform energy audits. Once Mr. Karowski completed the program he was hired as a Crew Chief by Victory Energy Solutions, a full-service energy management firm, and soon after advanced to Senior Energy Advisor. Now he conducts energy assessments and audits at homes in Massachusetts with the ultimate goal of helping homeowners reduce energy costs and lower their carbon footprints.
What Mr. Karowski enjoys most about his job at Victory Energy Solutions is that “it’s not the same everyday – there’s always a different set of challenges” and he’s always learning as software and requirements are constantly changing. When asked how the training helped him find a job, Mr. Karowski said that the training “helped the job find me.” Paul Keyes, Owner/Partner at Victory Energy Solutions, agrees. He said he decided to participate in the partnership because the company “needed a skilled workforce in order to sell and bill for services.”
Mr. Keyes says that one of the key factors that made this collaboration such a success was the true partnership between his company and Holyoke Community College, whose instructors integrated his and other local companies’ business needs into the training program. As a result, the company hired two participants from the program – Mr. Karowski and Takarra Greene, who had been unemployed since late 2009. Paul said both of them stood out from other candidates because they possessed “maturity, life and professional experience, and already had customer service skills, which is important in running a business.”
The partnership between Holyoke Community College and Victory Energy Solutions was brokered by the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, the region’s primary planner and convener to address workforce development issues. “Both Holyoke Community College and Victory Energy continue to be strong partners with their support of our clean energy training programs in our region. They recognized a valuable recruit in Stanley, not only with his past military and civilian experience, but also his achievement within the training program in achieving his BPI Building Analyst certification,” said Larry Martin, Southwestern Region Grant Administrator at the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County.
The Southwestern Regional Energy Sector Partnership is one of 8 Energy Sector Partnerships funded by a $5.973 million grant from the United States Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board and administered by Commonwealth Corporation. Learn more about additional State Energy Sector Partnership-funded projects around the state.