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Wayne Metro Launches HEAT Job Training Program



March 15, 2023
CONTACT: Jennie Miller 
(313) 701-8783


   Wayne Metro Launches HEAT Job Training Program

$600,000 grant from General Motors includes support for new entrepreneurial workforce development initiative focused on green careers in weatherization field

Detroit, Mich. — Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency has launched its first Home Energy Auditor Training (HEAT) initiative. The program is made possible through a $600,000 grant from General Motors, with nearly $90,000 earmarked for the HEAT project.

HEAT is a 10-week job training program that will combine field experience with classroom instruction in partnership with MiTech to effectively train participants for the in-demand field of energy auditing. It also allows for an $18.75 per hour stipend for participants during the course of instruction. The program focuses on communities of color and includes access to entrepreneurship classes for those seeking to build their own business in the field. Participants will also become contractors for Wayne Metro’s Weatherization Assistance Program upon completion.

“We have created a track for tangible career opportunities at a time when the need for weatherization professionals is great,” said Steve Cato, director of Community Development for Wayne Metro. “Increasing the number of qualified energy auditors will create an influx of available weatherization projects, having a layered impact on the community. The success of these participants will catalyze the onboarding of new contractors, green jobs, and ultimately, maximize energy savings for an increasing number of Detroit and Wayne County residents.”

Wayne Metro’s Weatherization Assistance Program permanently reduces energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of homes while ensuring residents’ health and safety. The program offers energy efficiency services that are custom tailored to each home, helping homeowners save as much money as possible. Benefits include insulation of walls, attic, ventilation and foundation, air leakage reduction, and free smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

“Organizations like Wayne Metro are helping bring everybody in on GM’s journey towards an all-electric future,” said Terry Rhadigan, vice president of Corporate Giving at GM. “This program is not only providing critical services to help keep homeowners safe and secure, it’s also building the workforce of the future.”

The HEAT training initiative will include two initial cohorts – one beginning in the Spring, the other later this year – and train eight individuals.

Detroit native and business owner Keta Richardson is currently enrolled in the first cohort. A licensed contractor and lead inspector, she is seeking to become an energy auditor with the goal of starting a new weatherization company.

“In addition to further expanding my own expertise, I want to provide job opportunities to others in our community and help them get to where they need to be in life,” Richardson said. “HEAT is allowing me to learn all aspects of this business with the prospect of giving back, in particular to returning citizens looking for a second chance.”

Currently, some 3,500 households in Wayne County are on the Weatherization waiting list with shortages of contractors and other factors contributing to service delays. Only   1 in 4 eligible households are Weatherization-ready at first point of engagement. For example, a home cannot be weatherized if the roof is damaged, asbestos is present, there is visible mold or standing water in the basement, and/or there are major areas of infiltration (missing drywall, windows, etc. Wayne Metro provides assistance for home repairs through other programs for eligible homeowners.

Weatherization is a multi-step process that can take several months to complete. Once work has begun, the general expected timeline for completion is between 6 to 12 months.

In addition to HEAT, the $600,000 funding from GM will also support two additional programs including Grow Wayne County and Minor Home Repair.

For more information and to apply for the second cohort, visit: https://waynemetro.tfaforms.net/4849224.


About Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency

For more than 50 years, Wayne Metro has worked to eliminate poverty in Wayne County by providing economic independence programs that nurture families and build communities. The organization serves as a lifeline for residents – and its impact increased exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic – by providing assistance to those in need with rent, utilities, home repairs, food and other essentials, education, childcare and more. For more information, visit www.waynemetro.org or follow Wayne Metro on Facebook (@waynemetro), Twitter (@WayneMetroCAA) or Instagram (@waynemetro).

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