Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Weatherization Program to be Located at Easley


(By Lisa Garrett)

EASLEY --- Tri-County Technical College is set to begin a new Weatherization certification program in January designed to put people back to work by retraining them for home energy improvement and inspection jobs.

The Weatherization program will be located at the Easley Campus, also the site of the new QuickJobs Development Center.

The program's training and equipment are paid for through a $165,477 energy efficiency grant from the S.C. Office of Economic Opportunity.

Classes will focus on caulking and sealing, glass replacements, drywall, and patching, insulation and roof vent installation. Courses will be offered by the Corporate and Community Education Division (CCE).

Collaborating with CCE on this new program are the Industrial and Engineering Technology Division 's Construction Management students, who currently are building a small house (12' x 20') for students to get hands-on experience in these weatherization classes. They also will retrofit a mobile home to fit the training needs of the students. The grant money is used to set up the program and pay for instructor training and to purchase tools and construction materials for building the house. It also will cover the purchase of the mobile home and its retrofitting, along with the appliances for both.

Building Construction/Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Program Coordinator Franklin Smith just returned from completing a Building Product Institute (BPI)-certified heating professional and proctor class. CCE Training and Development Director Ron Humphries completed BPI Certification Insulation and Air Sealing earlier this year. Adjunct instructors have been actively training as well. Adjunct instructor Randy King completed Combustible Appliance Safety and Site Built Weatherization 101, and adjunct instructor Tim Strickland completed BPI Certification Insulation and Air Sealing, Combustible Appliance Safety, and Site Built Weatherization 101.

Plans are to move the test house to the Easley Campus by early December, said Humphries, who also serves as administrator of the grant. "We hope to be up and running with classes in January, when the new Easley Campus opens. The program will train contractors and future technicians in retrofitting homes for better energy efficiency," he said.

"These classes will teach students to treat a house as a system, to troubleshoot it as a system," said Smith. "This goes above an energy audit -- it's an energy audit with solutions. These solutions will lead to the creation of jobs. We will be training future technicians, auditors, and inspectors to carry out these solutions."

For more information contact Ron Humphries at 646-1723 or

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