NEW YORK — The US Department of Labor has granted the 32BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund nearly $3 million to expand green buildings training in New York City as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant, announced by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis will help train 2,000 New York City building superintendents in energy efficiency through better operations & maintenance (O&M). Green O&M can reduce building energy use by 10 percent at low capital cost, making it the cheapest, fastest way to reduce energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
"High-impact, cost-effective labor-management programs like Green Supers are vital to the success of President Obama’s energy and environmental protection agenda," said Mike Fishman, President of 32BJ, the largest building services workers union in the country. "With nearly 80 percent of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions produced by buildings it’s imperative for owners, workers, environmental groups and the federal government to jointly tackle this environmental challenge."
The grant will help expand the Green Supers program, an innovative green building program endorsed by Mayor Bloomberg, real estate industry leaders, Urban Green, U.S. Green Building Council NY and the Building Performance Institute. The programis a 40 hour class that provides building service workers with the latest, state-of-the-art practices in energy efficient operations. The curriculum trains workers to identify and address wasted energy, create a green operating plan and perform cost-benefit analysis for building owners and managers.
"With most building service workers employed at the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RABOLR) buildings and represented by 32BJ, this labor-management partnership is uniquely positioned to give thousands of workers the skills they need to cut waste and costs at buildings across the city," said Howard Rothschild, President of RABOLR – which represents building owners and managers in New York City.
The DOL grant is part of a larger Recovery Act initiative — totaling $500 million — to fund workforce development projects that promote economic growth by preparing workers for careers in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.
"By expanding Green Supers more building workers will learn how to air seal a building, improve heating and air conditioning performance and reduce overall energy use in a building’s common areas," said Linda Nelson, Director of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund.
"By working together, 32BJ and New York’s building owners have put into place a smart, practical and effective way to help make the big apple green," said Mayor Bloomberg at the program launch. "Green Supers, provides a low-cost way to make our buildings more energy and cost efficient, our environment cleaner and all while saving our city millions of dollars."
"Investments in green training are investments in our collective future and a win-win for property owners," said Jeffrey Brodsky, president of Related Management. "Related is thrilled to participate in 32BJ’s green training program and helping to make a tangible difference in reducing our energy usage and ‘greening’ our real estate portfolio while also reducing operating expenses."
Green Supers is a program of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund – a labor management partnership that offers training to more than 80,000 32BJ union members working in the property services industry. The Fund’s programs provide 150,000 hours of industry, academic, and computer courses at over 20 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations is a multi-employer association serving the real estate industry in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Connecticut and Northern New Jersey. With more than 120,000 members in eight states, including 70,000 in New York, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.