CEE’s Career Training Program Prepares to Launch New Green Construction Training in 2024

Sep 28, 2023
training program graduates

Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) received funding from Xcel Energy to begin a career training program in 2021 and launched its first training cohort in March 2022. Since then, CEE has successfully run six cohorts funded by both Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, with the support of multiple local community-based organizations including the Cities of Minneapolis and Bloomington, Sabathani, CAPI USA, Ujamaa Place, Urban Roots, and MIGIZI. This program focuses on creating employment opportunities in the fast-growing clean energy industry, an industry that will only become more important with time. CEE and their partners strive to fill the jobs with individuals who have historically been underrepresented in the energy industry by prioritizing training Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latino, people of color, and women to join the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors.  

Over the past year, CEE has had a total of 90 participants who have completed training throughout the six training cohorts, four funded by Xcel Energy and two funded by CenterPoint Energy. During each cohort, participants receive four weeks of paid training, earning up to $2,500 and receiving an industry-recognized credential in Building Science Principles (BSP). During training, participants learn the basics of building science, home energy audits, insulation, and air sealing and receive installation training from experts. After training is complete, the program graduates can continue to one of two paid internship tracks, the energy auditor path or the insulation installer path. On completion of the internship, CEE will provide career navigation assistance.  

I was looking for a program that I could get involved in, and I came across this flyer talking about becoming an energy auditor, which at that point I didn't really know what they did. I didn't think this was going to be the right career path for me until I got into the internship. [What I like is that] you feel like you're doing something for the community.

Angeline Quilt, CEE auditor trainer

In the past three months, CEE celebrated the graduation of two Home Energy Career Training cohorts. In July, 20 graduates moved on to an internship in the field. This cohort was funded by Xcel Energy and supported by many community partners including CAPI USA, Ujamaa Place, and the Sabathani Community Center. Another cohort graduated in early September, which had 13 graduates who completed training and will be moving on to internships. During the graduation, Senator Foung Hawj spoke to graduates about the importance of the work in the energy efficiency sector and the value of building a diverse workforce. This cohort was funded by CenterPoint Energy and hosted at Bloomington Public works.  

Beginning next year, CEE will offer a second career training program, the Green Construction Training program. This is being funded through Ramsey County’s Learn and Earn program, striving to help young adults learn through education and training in in-demand careers, while earning money. Through this program, CEE will provide a paid 45-hour hands-on training in partnership with Saint Paul College for careers in insulation and HVAC. Participants will have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials and learn about the newest HVAC technologies from industry experts. Once the 45-hour training is completed, there will be a paid two-week intensive hands-on training for a deeper dive into HVAC and insulation. Following the training, participants can continue to a paid four to six month internship with a local HVAC or insulation company. This program will officially begin on January 22, but registration is open now. 

To register for CEE's career training program or for any related questions, you can visit mncee.org/career-training, email careertraining@mncee.org, or contact Sarah Northrup and Sahra Mohamed.

Register for CEE's career training program