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In this issue | April 2015

Julie Brazeau (center) works with students at a hands-on PV workshop 
at MREA. Full story below: MREA's Juliee Brazeau: Bullish on credentials


by Laure-Jeanne Davignon, IREC Credentialing Program Director



Finding the Onramp for the Skills Superhighway



In March, over 1,500 workforce professionals from as far away as Guam assembled in an unseasonably chilly Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Workforce Boards Annual Forum. 


IREC was on hand to meet with workforce professionals and employers, to promote the value of the IREC credential as a tool for WIBs when making decisions about allocation of workforce funding, and, more broadly, quality credentials and the role they play in the skills-based economy.


During his conference keynote, U.S. Labor Secretary Perez proclaimed: 

"We are at an historic moment right now. We have an incredible opportunity." 


Relating it to Eisenhower establishing the interstate highway system in the 1950's, Perez said the recently enacted Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the workforce sector are building a 'skills superhighway.' More





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Anaheim, CA


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The IREC Credentialing Program lays the foundation for a competent workforce for the clean energy economy. Using robust standards and a detailed process of application and assessment, IREC drives quality workforce training and increased consumer confidence in the industry.  


About IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is a non-profit organization that believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. To pave this clean energy path, IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce, including a unique credentialing program for renewable energy and energy efficiency training providers and instructors. Since 1982, IREC's programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. As of July 2013, IREC is an accredited American National Standards Developer.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation. 
MREA's Julie Brazeau: Bullish on Credentials and Quality Training

Between teaching and curriculum planning, Julie Brazeau, instructor development coordinator for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), sat down with IREC to talk about her work as a solar PV instructor. Julie, an IREC certified instructor/PV installation professional, is a master electrician and certified commercial inspector for the state of Wisconsin. She teaches photovoltaics courses at MREA and conducts the Midwest Solar Training Network Instructor institutes. Hear what Julie has to say about the value of credentials and quality training. More
By Kristen Ferguson

For the past year, IREC has teamed up with the Weatherization Training Network's Trainers Consortium for a series of learning events where we challenge each other to improve our teaching techniques. For me, improving teaching techniques means lecturing less and engaging students more. I appreciate the concept. It's changing habits that are hard. Fortunately for me, the diverse group is no stranger to continuous improvement processes. And continuous improvement inherently means change. More

Spring Into Action: Get Your Training Program in Top Shape

Considering having your training program accredited by IREC and obtaining the most recognized mark of quality in clean energy? Committed to improving your already good training? A bit daunted about how to get started? Signal if I'm getting warm.


IREC has a plan that will help you prepare to apply and strengthen your training program gradually over 16 weeks (think marathon). Did I mention it was free?

of note...

David Hepinstall, executive director, Association for Energy Affordability, shares insights with WAP stakeholders

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was created in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency. Through the services and education this program provides, participants experience an increase in health and comfort and a reduction in energy bills. Many times these savings have a huge impact on the household. 

This video not only shines a light on the existing success of the WAP, but it also takes a look at its recent evolution through the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals project. This particular effort has brought a greater sense of unity to the industry, defining quality work, quality workers, and quality training. IREC is honored to be part of this important work.