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The Smart Buildings Center (SBC) is pleased to become a partner in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator (BBWA). Officially launched in 2020, this three-year initiative seeks to raise the level of building science and energy efficiency knowledge in the nation’s building-related workforce.

The goal of the BBWA is to set the U.S. on a course toward a more energy-efficient and high-performing building stock. Accelerator partners include educators, workforce training providers, industry practitioners, trade associations, utility agencies, and government agencies. As a partner, SBC will gain access to a variety of resources, including opportunities to receive technical assistance from building science experts. Partners will also share their own best practices and contribute to developing guidance, case studies, and educational materials.

SBC looks forward to participating in the initiative and working with DOE and Accelerator partners to build interest in and streamline pathways for building efficiency careers. SBC intends to contribute to efforts to improve building workforce skills by utilizing updated curriculum and educational tools in SBC’s national Building Operator Certification (BOC) program. BOC is a competency-based training and certification program for building engineers and maintenance personnel. BOC graduates make their buildings more comfortable, efficient and environmentally friendly while providing energy and resource savings to building owners and organizations.

As buildings become more efficient and technologically advanced, the next generation workforce needs to be prepared to develop, integrate, install, and diffuse energy-efficient and smart buildings technologies. “We are proud of the work the BOC program does to elevate the profession of the building operator through training and certification, and we are excited to work with DOE and Accelerator partners to ensure training pathways for a diverse and qualified building efficiency workforce that enable high performance buildings,” said Melanie Danuser, SBC Director of Education & Training.

Reports show that cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades in U.S. buildings could save close to $100 billion annually in energy bills. However, these savings are only possible if the U.S. invests in preparing a workforce of qualified people who understand building science and energy efficiency. Through collaboration with the Accelerator partners, this initiative aims to build awareness about building efficiency careers, streamline pathways to building efficiency careers, and improve workforce skills. This three-year effort will support the vision of the U.S. building workforce as a global leader in delivering quality efficiency products and services to American residents and businesses, thereby increasing energy affordability across the economy.

To read more about the Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator, please visit: https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/accelerators/workforce

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