HPC Working For You Series: Jobs & Giving Back
HPC develops new approaches to federal, state and local policies that promote growth in the residential energy efficiency sector through research, education, and policy analysis. HPC works with stakeholders to resolve the most serious issues facing the residential energy efficiency industry and is a focal point for collaborative efforts on data standardization, program cost-effectiveness testing, weatherization, the valuation of home energy efficiency in the real estate market, and the integration of smart grid technology with residential building performance.
This post is focused on
Jobs & Giving Back
According to key economic indicators, the U.S. economy is healthy and is forecasted to grow between 2 and 3 percent annually. That’s good news for the U.S. and good news for our industry.
The Federal Open Market Committee’s recent forecast (June 14, 2017) indicates that unemployment will drop to 4.3 percent in 2017 and 4.2 percent in 2018. But, even Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, admits that those figures can be deceiving. Many people have dropped out of the work force, are working part time and would prefer full time work. Moreover, job growth has been in low paying retail and food service industries. Even in a good economy, older workers and others have been out of work for so long they most likely will not be able to return to the high paying jobs they once had. And, in places like the inner cities, unemployment remains stubbornly high at between 9% and 14%.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The impact of our industry on job growth is very positive, growing, and not widely known. However, two recent reports have highlighted the value and job creation ability of energy efficiency jobs in all 50 states. One report, Energy Efficiency Jobs in America, underwritten by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and E4TheFuture, found that energy efficiency is already employing over 1.9 million Americans. And, in January 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy published the 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) indicating that 2.2 million Americans are employed in well-paying jobs in the design, installation, and manufacture of energy efficiency products and services – with over 133,000 new jobs added in 2016 alone.
In the case of HPC, we see industry growth job creation potential first hand. In March 2017, we had a banner year at our national conference and trade show. And, going forward, we are expanding our regional trade shows and workshops across the country, beginning with the 2017 Southeast Regional Home PerformanceConference & Trade Show – September 28-29, 2017 and the 2017 California Regional Home Performance Conference & Trade Show – November 14-15, 2017. Regional one day workshops are scheduled in Ohio: Building Profits with Home Performance: HP Sales & Marketing – September 7, 2017; and in California: Building Profits with Home Performance: HP Sales & Marketing - November 14, 2017.
On this July 4th, as we celebrate our freedom, resiliency, and strong economic growth, we are mindful that as with other industries, there are jobs that go unfilled due to the lack of trained technical workers. We are also cognizant of the areas of our country, and especially in our large cities, where there is poverty and chronic unemployment, especially among young people.
Recently, we have begun to work with some other NGOs and partners, to evaluate if we can get foundation funding to structure a model program employing at risk youth as apprentices in an inner city that has been selected for weatherization and renewable retrofits.
More on that later...so stay tuned as HPC continues to work for you and for our country!
Happy Independence Day Holiday!