CHARLOTTE, NC (December 15, 2021) – Northwood Office made a significant contribution to the City of Charlotte on behalf of its tenants and customers at Ballantyne and Metropolitan. The gift will support the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Workforce (RENEW) Training Program, a partnership between the City of Charlotte, Urban League of Central Carolinas and Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont to help prepare Charlotte residents for careers in the HVAC and electrical industries. Northwood's gift will provide 55 participants with the tools and course materials they need to succeed in the 13-week paid training program, which focuses on sustainable practices and offers prioritized acceptance for residents displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As our community continues to navigate the effects of the pandemic, RENEW's ability to make a meaningful impact on workforce development in the Charlotte region is more critical now than ever," said Hailey Rorie, community director at Northwood Office. "Access to skilled training opportunities should not be a privilege, and we are excited to support the 2022 cohorts by equipping them with the resources they need to succeed."
"This generous investment from Northwood Office will allow the Goodwill Construction Skills Training Center program to continue providing equitable access to career opportunities and help more people pursue the life they want to achieve," shared Marvin Kelley, director of construction and trade training at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. "Our January 2022 cohort will graduate in time for the spring hiring cycle and provide a boost of new talent in the commercial HVAC industry throughout Charlotte."
The City of Charlotte launched the RENEW Training Program in September 2020 to align with its Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The four focus areas within the SEAP include Buildings, Transportation, Energy Generation and Workforce Development & Equity. RENEW seeks to fulfill the plan's Workforce Development & Equity pillar and prepare our residents for careers that utilize sustainable technologies to help attain the goals in the policy.
To date, 71 participants have successfully graduated from the program, with another 15 expected to graduate from an all-female cohort on December 16, 2021. At an average pay of $17-20 per hour, 79% of graduates are employed full-time, and 90% receive EPA Universal Certification.