Video: The REnEW training program trains motivated people to work in the emerging field of energy efficiency retrofitting.
Energy efficient construction training program continues to add to the
pool of skilled workers, inspire motivated individuals to overcome
employment barriers and give back to the community
SURREY, BC, May 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The latest graduates from the Residential Energy Efficiency Works (REnEW) program leave with both a new set of skills in an emerging and
in-demand field and the confidence needed to make positive changes in
The 13-member class (11 men and two women) is the sixth group trained in
Kelowna. It's also the largest graduating class since the program first
started back in 2010.
FortisBC created REnEW in collaboration with BC Hydro in 2010 to help
people who might otherwise experience barriers to employment learn
about construction and trades, particularly energy efficiency work.
For many, the barriers are the result of a lifelong struggle with
poverty, disability or some other limitation.
"Training and skills development are the best tools we have to help
people overcome employment barriers," said Shelley Cook, executive
director of the John Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan, the organization that administers REnEW in Kelowna. "It's amazing and
inspiring to see the tremendous positive change in just six short
weeks; participants leave REnEW with a sense of great accomplishment
and the confidence needed to move forward and improve their lives."
During the six-week program, participants learn hands-on job skills,
such as the fundamentals of energy efficiency, installation of energy
saving technologies, first aid and fall protection. They also receive
personal employment coaching and support.
Participants give back to their communities by applying their newly
learned skills to help others become more energy efficient. The
13-member crew recently completed energy-efficient upgrades to Hinode
Home - a housing complex for seniors on fixed incomes - guided by
instructors from Kelowna construction company UK Trades.
The work would have cost approximately $75,000 if it weren't for the
business sponsors from the community, program participants and the
"The REnEW program demonstrates the great things that can happen when we
provide opportunities that give people a chance to succeed and realize
their full potential," said Sarah Smith, director of energy efficiency
and conservation at FortisBC. "On behalf of FortisBC, I'd like to
congratulate the graduates on their great achievement. We look forward
to hearing about their successes in the future."
REnEW has helped more than 120 men and women go on to find work in
construction or spur the confidence needed to pursue further
"It's wonderful to see REnEW graduate the largest class size in the
program's history. Thanks to the REnEW program, students have been able
to overcome barriers to education such as cost and disability. The
graduates are now experts in energy efficiency and we are proud they
were able to help a seniors' housing development in Kelowna," Joanna
Sofield, general manager of BC Hydro customer care and Power Smart.
REnEW is administered regularly throughout the province by local
non-profit organizations. Past classes have also taken place in
Vancouver, Chilliwack, Prince George and Williams Lake.
For more information on the program, contact FortisBC at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fortisbc.com/REnEW.
Video with caption: "Video: The REnEW training program trains motivated people to work in the emerging field of energy efficiency retrofitting.
". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obvApqrZ7Do
Image with caption: "Chris Voss graduated today from the FortisBC funded REnEW program. (CNW Group/FortisBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140507_C7159_PHOTO_EN_40077.jpg
Image with caption: "REnEW participant Time Goodwin shows off energy efficient upgrades made to Hinode Home. (CNW Group/FortisBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140507_C7159_PHOTO_EN_40078.jpg
For further information:
John Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan