The future of sustainability evolves from, and depends on, the students who will grow to be leaders in the industry. There is a growing need for the creation of a Green Building Tech Program for students that will soon be emerging professionals in the field. The US Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter (USGBC MA) will be introducing students to the green industry and the various career paths that exist.
The initial pilot academy is residing at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, a Boston Public School, that is a science technology engineering math (STEM) school. Our program intends to become a model for green “skills” awareness for other career technical education schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond our borders.
The Green Tech Program will offer a series of afterschool “green facilities career” presentations from various local professionals, a series of tours to the many high‐performance buildings nearby, and a trip to the Greenbuild expo hall for networking opportunity. At the end of the school year, students in the program will have the opportunity to become GlPRO certified. Madison Park is Boston’s only career and technical education high school and is a member of SkillsUSA; a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.
The intent is for this program to become a bridge for students interested in pursuing careers in the trades with an eye toward sustainability. We will be collaborating with other organizations, such as YouthBuild Boston, and local colleges and universities to strengthen the program continuity. Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Environmental Collaborative (student sustainability program since 1997) has committed to be mentors for Madison Park students in the Program. Commitment from Madison Park Development Corp and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center are being secured so students can leave the program with summer youth internships and jobs in green facilities management.
What is the Green Skills Gap?
The demand for skilled technicians is high and growing. Boston is the 5th best city for LEED-certifications nationally, and every commercial building and entity that develops, builds, and regulates high-performance equipment will need green building technicians. The demand for green building technicians is so strong in Boston that hundreds of graduates with an associate degree in this area would be needed to fill the anticipated openings in these high-paying jobs.
Employers are at a loss for trained workers to accommodate this growth. This labor shortage is the Green Skills Gap. The green skills gap starts in the current vocational high school curriculum and then continues through current college programs. Both levels of learning lack an education of operations and maintenance for high‐performance (green) building systems.
Without these technicians, operational expenses for energy efficient and green buildings increase while the performance degrades. Over time, green buildings built today will lose value as real estate owners and property management firms lack the experience necessary to operate the systems efficiently. Training people to fill these well-paid jobs will help the economy grow and the environment flourish.
How you can Support the Program
Your donations to green skills gap are put toward inspiring our students to strive for more. As part of our school community, you are involved in preparing students intellectually, emotionally, and socially to thrive in life.
In addition to monetary support, real-world experience from the field will enhance the Green Building Tech Program’s effectiveness. Your commitment is vital to the maturation and success of the Green Building Tech Program. The mentor’s commitment includes attending the presentation meetings, and they are encouraged to join the weekly demonstrations and site tours. The mentor will be dedicated to select students, answering practical questions about green building technology weekly. A mentor is expected to participate in some presentations by providing real-world experience enhancing the main speaker’s presentation. Your commitment will help our industry train the next generation of skilled workers.
As part of the Green Building Tech Program, students will also learn from experts in the field. The industry expert is expected to talk for about 15 minutes. The facilitator will present the general concepts of a green building technology with the enhancement of additional speakers including mentors, teachers and technical experts.
Listed below are the topic areas covered:
Sustainability & Green Buildings
Operations & Maintenance of Green Buildings
Building Performance Metrics
Heating and Cooling
Waste & Recycling
If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please contact us here.