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Regional Energy Efficiency Workforce Development Forum Co-Sponsored By NESCAUM and EPA

Release Date: 03/26/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – March 26, 2009) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) today co-sponsored a forum on “Regional Energy Efficiency Workforce Development” for the Northeast.

NESCAUM is an organization whose membership includes the environmental agencies in the Northeast states from Maine to New Jersey, and whose purpose is to provide scientific, technical, analytical, and policy support to the air quality, climate, and energy programs of the eight Northeast states.

The Northeast is a national leader in energy efficiency (EE), spending nearly $1 billion each year on EE programs that provide substantial environmental, energy, and economic benefits to the region. With the revenues from the recent Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auctions and other funding sources, significant investments are being made for EE retrofits, weatherization, green schools, and training for “green jobs,” especially in low-income communities.

In order to expand existing EE programs and implement new ones, the region needs a workforce that is sufficiently prepared, in size and skill for rapid, efficient, and cost-effective deployment. The Forum will bring together members of state environmental, energy, public utility, and economic development agencies, utilities, energy service companies, experts from community colleges and vocational/technical schools, and environmental justice advocates to identify the actions we need to take as a Region to prepare the best EE workforce for the Northeast.

“A well-trained energy efficiency workforce is essential for these programs to generate the greatest benefits to the region’s air quality and climate goals at the lowest cost while increasing energy reliability,” stated Michelle Manion, NESCAUM’s Climate and Energy Program Director.

“We’re pleased to assist NESCAUM with this year’s forum. Our gift helps bring together the right team to advance energy efficiency programs that will benefit our customers and help safeguard our global environment for future generations,” said Tim Stout, vice president, Energy Efficiency, for National Grid in the U.S. “This forum is a tangible action of what can be achieved when we all pull together.” National Grid is underwriting travel expenses which will enable state employees to attend the forum.

“This forum will enhance efforts to advance energy efficiency in the Northeast, and will help transform our economy through environmental solutions,” said Ira W. Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We look forward to valuable collaborations between the energy, environmental and education sectors that will be a role model for the rest of the country and will help to create a green jobs network here in New England.”

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Contacts: U.S. EPA, David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
NESCAUM, Allison Reilly, (617) 259-2012