The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and WinnResidential have announced a two-year project to implement workforce training programs with the goal of reducing energy expenditures in New York State-based properties managed by WinnCompanies.
In addition to U.S. military housing managed by WinnResidential at Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes, a host of low-income and mixed-income properties in New York City and Rochester metro areas will benefit.
“We are excited to work with IREC on this groundbreaking effort, which will help maintenance teams make sustainability a priority at their apartment communities,” says Darien Crimmin, vice president of energy and sustainability for WinnResidential. “Providing employees with the training and resources they need to impact day-to-day energy operations and resident comfort in their buildings is a winning strategy for everyone.”
This initiative is supported with funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). IREC and WinnResidential will partner with training and certification experts from the National Apartment Association (NAA) to ensure maintenance and supervisory staff are trained to national standards. The NYSERDA funding will also be leveraged to develop a custom curriculum, which will help employees bring the lessons learned in the classroom or online into daily operations.
“IREC has long supported reduction of energy use in the built environment as a strategy to attain a cleaner and more resilient economy,” says Larry Sherwood, president and CEO for IREC. “We are enthusiastic about partnering with one of the nation’s leading property management companies to put our workforce programs to the test and confirm a measurable impact on energy usage.”
Recognizing that energy efficiency practices transcend any individual technology or work process, leadership training will be offered to a cohort of supervisory employees to help them gain buy-in on energy efficiency measures from staff and residents. Supervisors will learn to weigh the costs and benefits of individual energy efficiency measures and implement them in a way that is advantageous to all stakeholders, from building owners to residents.
In addition to the energy benefits of the training, outcomes like employee retention and supervisor satisfaction will also be measured. The project will focus on best practices that can be sustained beyond the grant period, and replicated across apartment communities managed by WinnResidential throughout the U.S., as well as those managed by other companies.
“NYSERDA’s leadership in the workforce arena will result in a model that can be replicated by other building and portfolio managers,” says Laure-Jeanne Davignon, IREC’s vice president for workforce development. “We feel this is an important piece of the puzzle to reduce energy usage in multi-family buildings throughout the U.S.”
More than 110 maintenance supervisor and maintenance technicians will benefit from the training, which will qualify them for certifications in the multifamily industry.