We need something that ties this whole process together.  Some way of providing transparency that makes the financial savings more than simply a vague promise to homeowners.  Carrying capital cost with energy savings is VERY compelling, but the average homeowner doesn't believe the savings will show up and therefore discount or dismiss that benefit all together.  

Once savings are deemed real, they can become a significant part of the decision making process for homeowners.  Confidence in net monthly cost projections will go way up.  Jobs will get bigger because homeowners can see bigger jobs offering less risk rather than more.  The industry will explode.  

EE Programs, Utilities, the Government, or BPI need to track consumption AND realization - and make those numbers easily visible to prospective clients.  Until that happens, the primary reason for EE measures will be comfort or end of life upgrades.   

Until then, things will be wasteful and broken:


I Team 10 Investigation: "Green for Gold." Where are the green jobs?

A local not-for-profit company got $8 million in taxpayer funds to train people for green jobs. But more than two years later, critics are questioning if it was money well spent.

So I Team 10 set out to try to learn where the money was spent and how many jobs have been created as a result.

"I'm an older guy so you just gotta get more skills and stuff in order to be ready for the job market now," says Max Cherry of Rochester.

Cherry was looking for work. That's when he heard through a friend about a job training program offered through PathStone Corporation, a not-for profit organization headquartered on East Avenue.

"I just wanted to upgrade my skills in the construction trade. I thought it could help me seek employment by just going through the program," Cherry says.

In January of 2010, PathStone announced it received an $8 million federal grant through the US Labor Department for green jobs training.... two million of it to be used in Rochester.

Called "Green for Gold," the money was part of President Obama's stimulus program.

The grant was designed to help individuals find ways out of poverty through employment in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. The funding in Rochester was to train people for deconstruction jobs, focusing on city properties slated for demolition.

Cherry says PathStone helped him with a resume and email set-up... and placed him in a 13 week hands-on training course  at Monroe Community College.

"It just gives you some basic construction skills of dry walling, framing, some electrical work and some masonry work, some plumbing," he says.

Cherry got some work temporarily, but when we spoke with him a couple months ago he was unemployed.

I-Team 10 wanted to know how many green jobs were created locally with that $2 million in taxpayer stimulus funds. So we went about trying to find out... and figured the best place to start was here at PathStone.

But the president of PathStone declined to comment on camera saying he prefers to wait until the program is completed. On the phone, he tells I-Team 10 they are on target with their goals as approved by the labor department.

However, he also acknowledged the grant was extended until October and that PathStone received a waiver allowing them to place people in non-green jobs.  

I-Team 10 did some digging and found some numbers in a report by the Department of Labor's Inspector General. It found that despite setting a goal of training more than 600 people overall, as of last September, PathStone had trained 25, with only four entering into training-related employment... zero of whom were retained.

PathStone says those numbers are extremely outdated but would not share their own numbers.

The labor department was unable to provide us more updated figures.

Recently, House Oversight Committee Chairman, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-California) began demanding answers about how green job training grants were doled out. And in a letter to the secretary of labor, he singled out PathStone by name as an example of "abysmal results."

"It may be that Chairman Issa doesn't like the program all together," says New York Senator Charles Schumer.

Schumer touted the grant when it was announced, calling it a "win-win" for the community.

"I think before we come to judgment, we could see if they can fulfill their contract, 650 new people trained in green jobs, which are good paying jobs and we have a shortage of them in the Rochester area,." Schumer told I-Team 10.

Our investigation turned up little in the way of promotion of the "Green for Gold" program. The only advertising we could find were some bulletin board flyers and a pamphlet that provided a brief overview.

Claudette Phelps is a single mother who was looking for work. A counselor suggested she look into the "Green for Gold" initiative. So she stopped into PathStone. 

"And when I asked her concerning the gold-green jobs, she acted like, she seemed like just didn't know what I was talking about," said Phelps.

She says she left her phone number and never heard back.

"Eight million dollars over the course of the program is an awful lot of money for a handful of jobs," says conservative radio host Bill Nojay.

Nojay opposed the stimulus and says many of the grants were driven by political favoritism.

"The question is, has the success, have the jobs created been worth it to taxpayers."

At Recovery.gov they do keep track of stimulus spending. And in it's most recent filing, PathStone's only reference to job creation is this number... 13.92. But government officials tell I-Team 10 that's a calculation of how many PathStone jobs were funded last quarter using stimulus dollars.

"The employment of not for profit organizations continues to skyrocket across America, funded in part by taxpayer stimulus dollars. people question whether or not those jobs are sustainable. They're only there so long as government keeps funding them," says Nojay.

The labor department has argued that these grants were not intended to produce green jobs right away ... but rather to create a workforce for the future.

Max Cherry says, from his perspective, the program was well worth it.

"By starting that program, it gave me an opportunity to just start all over again."

We checked with M.C.C. and a spokesperson says they are no longer under contract with PathStone to provide any construction skills training. A total of 38 people went through the hands-on course, primarily in 2011.

The president of PathStone says it's a very complicated process to help people with multiple barriers to employment find jobs that fit their skills.

I-Team 10 will continue to keep tabs on the program's progress.

Views: 229

Replies to This Discussion

If certification is going to be taken seriously BPI should stop churning out "certifications" to anyone who will pay the fee. Here in Chicago everybody is training and no one is working. There are ads on craigslist for "training" through the WIA program. It borders on scam when you train someone for a job that is not there and without hope in the foreseeable future. This should be rethought from the ground up.

   Reprint from March 21 my own words on this site

WOW, dollar for dollar that's 10 extra jobs per any gov. funded program.


Discussion Forum

BPI Jobs Pages: 36 Openings in 17 States

Started by Quinn Korzeniecki on Tuesday. 0 Replies

BPI has a jobs section on their website!

Started by Diane Chojnowski. Last reply by Building Performance Institute Jan 11. 1 Reply

Latest Activity

Landon added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

WANTED: Blower door complete set Retrotec or Minneapolis

Hi all,I'm looking for a blower door system complete, ready to go. Preferably used, unless you have…See More
7 hours ago
Landon joined allen p tanner's group

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
7 hours ago
ABAA posted an event

ABAA 2018 Conference and TradeShow at Salt Palace Convention Center

May 8, 2018 to May 9, 2018
7th Annual Air Barrier Association of America’s conference and trade show.May 8-9, 2018 at the Salt…See More
8 hours ago
Michael R. Johnson liked Bruce Sullivan's blog post Solving Energy Poverty: Energy Efficient Homes for Those Who Need Them Most
9 hours ago
Home Energy Magazine posted a blog post
10 hours ago
Diane Chojnowski posted a discussion

ACEEE Fact Sheet: The Impact of Federal Energy Efficiency Programs

Federal energy efficiency programs have played a key role in reducing energy use and saving…See More
11 hours ago
Profile IconLandon, Lloyd Elam, Jeremiah Doty and 3 more joined Home Energy Pros Forum
11 hours ago
Khaliquzzaman Katchi liked Khaliquzzaman Katchi's discussion Retrotec DM-2 Pressure Gauge
11 hours ago
Mick Lane replied to Steve Eberly's discussion Infrared camera recommendations for general contractor use
"The real question is what are you going to do with the camera.  Does it need to take pictures…"
12 hours ago
Lloyd Elam commented on Home Energy Magazine's blog post How We Turned Our House into a Giant Foam Box, Part I — Wall Insulation By Wen Lee
"Can't wait to see what your blower door number will be...."
12 hours ago
Danny Gough replied to Jeremy Begley's discussion Manual S for Water Furnace Equipment in the group HVAC
"Well said David Butler. One more thing I would add is if you have some flexibility with the loop…"
14 hours ago
Leslie Jackson posted a blog post
20 hours ago
Steve Eberly posted a discussion

Infrared camera recommendations for general contractor use

Hi, I believe I have searched and found little recent discussion on recommendations for IR…See More
22 hours ago
Jeremiah Doty commented on Jeremiah Doty's blog post A list of 7 important questions to ask potential Contractor's BEFORE hiring them!
"To read more of our helpful Blog's visit us at https://www.jandmservices.us/blog/"
Jeremiah Doty posted a blog post

A list of 7 important questions to ask potential Contractor's BEFORE hiring them!

A list of 7 important questions to ask a Contractor Before Hiring Them.1) First and foremost when…See More
Todd Williams liked Diane Deyerler's event Energy OutWest Conference
Khaliquzzaman Katchi replied to Khaliquzzaman Katchi's discussion Retrotec DM-2 Pressure Gauge in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"I am prepared to pay $200 and I will pay the shipping to Canada."
Brad Cook replied to Brad Cook's discussion When is a fuel history confidential and why?
"Personally, I just don't see what is so personal about how much fuel your home uses, in…"
Barbara Smith liked Diane Chojnowski's video
Al Tibbs replied to Khaliquzzaman Katchi's discussion Retrotec DM-2 Pressure Gauge in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"I have a DM2 Mark II in VERY GOOD to Excellent Condition. I will sell for $300."


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service