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CHP Part of Regional Partnership to Receive $3.8 Million in Green Jobs Training

Christiansburg, Va. – In collaboration with regional partners, Community Housing Partners (CHP) announced today that it has been awarded $3,865,480 in green job training money from the U.S. Department of Labor to teach workers the skills required in emerging energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

CHP is the lead applicant and grant administrator for a collaborative partnership called Construction, Retrofitting, and Energy-Efficiency Assessment Training and Employment Systems (CREATES), which includes Virginia Tech, NewVA Corridor Technology Council, New River Community College, Wytheville Community College, Virginia Western Community College, New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Board, and the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board.

The CREATES partnership will use the funds to upgrade regional training capacities, develop and implement new curriculum components, offer appropriate energy conservation certification opportunities, and provide preferred education to upgrade the skills of construction and retrofitting industry workers in order to help them compete in cutting-edge green building occupations.

CHP will use a portion of the grant to provide energy efficiency assessment training at its New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT) in Christiansburg. By using the buildings’ systems and components as real-time training tools for trainees to observe and study, the 10,000 square-foot training center will be an interactive regional classroom for energy conservation techniques; energy-efficient renovation; home performance testing; heating and cooling equipment diagnostics, repair and replacement; and industry research in new technologies.

The grant is part of nearly $100 million being allocated by the U.S. Department of Labor to 25 projects across the nation.

"Today's announcement is part of the administration's long-term commitment to fostering both immediate economic revitalization and a clean energy future. It's an investment that will help American workers succeed while doing good," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Our outstanding award recipients were selected because their proposed projects will connect workers to career pathways in green industries and occupations through critical, diverse partnerships."

The CREATES collaboration will serve 21 counties and independent cities in Western Virginia including the counties of Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski, Smyth,Washington, Wythe; the counties of Allegheny, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, Radford, Covington, Roanoke and Salem.

Said CHP’s President and CEO Janaka Casper, “This important funding will lead program participants to job placement while also promoting smart, sustainable energy use that will have a positive long-term impact for generations to come.”