City launches Renewable Energy and Efficiency Workforce (RENEW) Training Program
La Vondra Farquharson
RENEW Training Program

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 17, 2020) Addressing climate change and helping develop a workforce trained for a green economy is an important focus for the City Charlotte. The Renewable Energy and Efficiency Workforce (RENEW) Training Program is a partnership between the City of Charlotte and the Urban League of the Carolinas. Participants will receive heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry-certified credentials required for entry-level technician positions for careers in commercial and residential energy, including renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Graduates from the program will have access to career opportunities with industries leaders such as Trane Technologies and others in the field. Participants will receive a training stipend of $15 an hour during the 13-week course facilitated by the Urban League of Central Carolinas. Both virtual and hands-on training will be offered.

“The RENEW Training Program is a fantastic city-community partnership,” stated Tracy Dodson, assistant city manager. “By working with the Urban League of Central Carolinas and Trane Technologies, the City of Charlotte will use our CARES Act funding to provide life-changing career opportunities for the residents in our community most affected by COVID-19. Each graduating cohort is helping us develop a qualified workforce well suited for an emerging, green economy.”

In 2018, Charlotte was one of 25 cities to be named a winner in the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. The Climate Challenge aims to accelerate and deepen U.S. cities’ efforts to create the greatest climate impact and showcase the benefits – like good jobs, cleaner air and cost savings – that climate solutions bring. RENEW will help Charlotte achieve its sustainable, workforce development goals set within the Climate Challenge, as well as align with the city’s Strategic Energy Action Plan.

“Fighting the climate crisis requires that we scale-up our clean energy future and invest heavily in our workforce. There’s never been a better time to bolster opportunities and pathways for people to participate in the growing green economy,” said Christina Angelides, Director of the American Cities Climate Challenge.“ Charlotte’s RENEW training program is exactly the type of smart, inclusive approach needed to get the economy humming again—it will no doubt help build a brighter and stronger city. This is another example of the innovative efforts the American Cities Climate Challenge is helping to spearhead in cities across the U.S.”

The City of Charlotte will invest approximately $500,000 over 12 months into the program with additional funding from the CARES Act. Recruitment efforts will target members of the Charlotte community who have been displaced or disadvantaged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, a Corporate Advisory Council will be a part of RENEW.The council is made up of Charlotte-area businesses that employ individuals with the program’s area of focus.

RENEW will train and place 30 students into entry level positions for its September cohort, with a goal of 60 over the next 12 months. Interested residents can learn more about the RENEW program and apply online.