As part of the Obama Administration’s Better Buildings Initiative, the DOE and the National Institute for Building Sciences has released the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines to help aid the development and implementation of training and certification programs for commercial building employees. The initiative, which looks to make buildings 20% more energy efficient in the next ten years, includes the development of a skilled clean energy workforce as one of its main goals. The new guidelines will help to not only improve building efficiency but also strengthen the skills of employees trained under the new programs.
The Better Buildings Workforce Framework, which was developed with industry stakeholders from the public and private sectors, includes six elements that will improve the skills and consistency of workers in commercial buildings:
- Technical Standards – Employees should have knowledge of standards, codes, and specifications that guide safe, durable, and high-quality work related to building efficiency.
- Skills Standards – These standards define the tasks, knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for workers to perform work correctly pursuant to technical standards.
- Curricula And Training Programs – Standards built on relevant learning objectives that align with technical and skills standards.
- Industry-Recognized Certifications – Specifically for job titles related to energy, these should be built on common certification blueprints when appropriate.
- Third-Party Accreditation For Training And Certification – To ensure program quality and relevance to industry-recognized content.
- Driving Market Demand –Standardize market demand for credentialed professionals with policy mechanisms and government and industry recognition of workforce training programs.