In urban areas, where many lower income families live, older homes and buildings often lack even the first generation of energy efficiency improvements, creating extremely high energy costs for those who can least afford it. Utility bills are now the second greatest cause of homelessness. In addition, the toxins in New Jersey’s environment threaten the health of these communities through lead, asthma triggers, and mold in homes, along with other environmental hazards.
The challenges of energy efficiency and environmental cleanup create a real opportunity in urban communities. The combination of high underemployment in cities and the growing need to create new green jobs provides a chance to train urban residents for those jobs, which pay well and allow residents to improve their own communities.
Further extending its efforts to foster self-reliance, Isles, with start-up support from the NJ State Department of Labor and Workforce Development, created the Center for Energy and Environmental Training to better meet the current and future demand for training in clean energy, weatherization, healthy homes, and environmental fields. CEET is now a Building Performance Institute (BPI) approved testing center and is the New Jersey training affiliate for the National Center for Healthy Housing.
To date, CEET has provided training for approximately 1,300 individuals, including job training for unemployed individuals as well as additional training for existing workers in the energy efficiency, renewable energy, healthy homes, or related construction fields.
By partnering with many stakeholders throughout the region and state, Isles is helping to:
- Stimulate the economy
- Train entry-level workers and beyond for high-demand green jobs
- Improve the environment
- Make homes and neighborhoods healthier