North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) are working together to create significant career training opportunities via investments in energy efficiency programs.

According to the organizations, energy efficiency policies demand hundreds of thousands of skilled craft professionals, including glaziers and window installers, and a 2014 study by ACEEE found that if all states adopted a few proven energy-efficiency policies, they could create over 600,000 new jobs. Because of that, NABTU and ACEEE hope to leverage these investments to create career training opportunities via formal apprenticeships.

“As states make the necessary plans for a clean energy future, they should consider the social and economic benefits of their decisions,” said Steven Nadel, executive director of the ACEEE. “Energy efficiency programs have the potential to provide jobs and career training opportunities for significant numbers of Americans.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed the Clean Energy Incentive Program, which aims to spur more energy-efficiency measures. NABTU and ACEEE say this could create career training opportunities in the skilled trades, provided that industry, government and labor work together to make it happen.

“North America’s Building Trades Unions and its signatory contractors invest over $1 billion annually in the world’s most admired and successful skilled craft apprenticeship infrastructure,” said Sean McGarvey, president of NABTU. “We have real-world experience in working with businesses, industry, government and community organizations that see the value in leveraging public and private investment so that they create opportunities for career training in the skilled trades, particularly and especially for historical neglected communities, such as women, people of color, military veterans, and urban youth. Energy efficiency investments have that same potential, and we are proud to join with ACEEE to issue a call to make that a reality.”

Click here to read the joint fact sheet.

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