Green job training available in Summit this spring |

Green job training available in Summit this spring

summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – The construction industry is still struggling in Summit County, but a new green-job training opportunity could provide a boost for some of its workers.

High Country Conservation Center is partnering with Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and the Colorado Workforce Center to provide an energy-auditor training and certification course in May. The week-long class will provide the necessary skills and credentials for workers to perform energy audits on buildings, thereby identifying ways businesses and homeowners can make energy-saving improvements.

The class couldn’t come at a better time, since a host of state and local energy-efficiency incentive programs come into effect this spring. The Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, for example, will launch its rebate program for home energy audits on April 19. Furthermore, several programs funded by the federal American Recovery Act are available to help pay for classroom and on-the-job training.

Matt Wright, the Conservation Center’s residential energy specialist, can attest to the value of such programs. Wright, who has a construction background, took the energy-auditor certification course at CMC’s Aspen campus in July. He also took a class on energy rating – essentially creating an energy report card for a building – and the federal government picked up the tuition tab.

Armed with his new knowledge and certifications, Wright sought on-the-job training with High Country Conservation Center, shadowing energy program manager Jon Kinstad. He obtained federal funds through the Colorado Workforce Center to pay for 200 hours of work with the organization, which then hired him for a regular position conducting home energy audits.

“I am ecstatic,” Wright said. “I definitely see this as a growing industry and as the wave of the future within the building industry.”

This spring’s energy-auditor class at the CMC Summit Campus, taught by Kinstad, will include six days of classroom instruction and two certification tests. The material centers on the idea that a home is a system, with several subsystems that interact to affect the home’s energy performance.

“Energy, durability, moisture management, indoor air quality: All those things factor into the home as a system,” Kinstad said. “So a building analyst is going to have an understanding of how insulation works, how a home leaks air, how a home controls moisture and how heating and mechanical systems work.”

Students who enroll in the course should have a construction, architecture or engineering background, moderate computer literacy, good customer-service skills and college-level math proficiency.

The Colorado Workforce Center’s Frisco office has funding available to cover the class’s $1,600 tuition cost. There is also funding available for on-the-job training following certification. One such program, Hire Colorado, expires June 30. Prospective students must contact the Workforce Center before enrolling in the class.

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or

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