ICAST Experts Weigh In: The Need to Grow the Clean Energy Workforce

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Audrey Knox | Training Program Coordinator

A recent study by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has determined that heat pumps are “the central technology in the global transition to secure and sustainable heating” and estimate that heat pumps could provide one-fifth of the world’s heating needs by 2030. In the US, as more ambitious carbon-reduction goals take effect in states like Colorado and Washington (with the latter recently passing a mandate that requires all new buildings and homes to install a heat pump), there is a growing need for trained HVAC technicians who are equipped to design, install, and service these devices.

How does this relate to ICAST? Through two innovative partnerships, ICAST is implementing no-cost high-efficiency air-source heat pump training programs. These programs are available to entry-level individuals who are seeking to join the HVAC industry as well as experienced HVAC professionals looking for upskilling opportunities. Our aim is to develop the next generation of heat pump HVAC technicians and train existing techs on new heat pump technology. The first program is the BENEFIT (Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies) project with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). ICAST is working to create an advanced curriculum to train individuals to design, install, and maintain high-efficiency heat pumps, and will ultimately disseminate this curriculum as well as best practices. The second is the Denver Good Green Jobs program administered through the Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, & Resilience Office. Via partnerships with manufacturers, workforce and HVAC associations, and other industry experts and relevant stakeholders, ICAST’s work connect trained employees and ready-to-hire employers.

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