In the past month, twenty-five individuals took the AmeriCorps oath of service and officially joined the Energy Corps program for the 2012-2013 service year. Energy Corps currently has 37 members serving in the five states of Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Pennsylvania and Texas.
In Montana, the pre-service orientation provided the five new members with the opportunity to hear from AmeriCorps members representing different programs in the state, including Senior Corps, Montana Campus Compact, as well as from Energy Corps alumni. NCAT staff Jerrid Burk covered human resources issues and enrollment paperwork for the group, and Al Kurki, also an NCAT staff member, taught a workshop on performance measurement. They ended their training with a tour of the Sage Mountain Center, highlighting renewable energy systems as well as sustainable building techniques. NCAT Board Member Art Noonan administered the oath.
In Pennsylvania, nine members completed the orientation and training, which was held at the offices of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, thanks to NCAT Board Member Gene Brady. Similar to Montana, the training consisted of background information on AmeriCorps and information on performance measurement, presented by our own Norm Conrad. Fellow NCAT staff member Chris Lent taught a course on residential energy efficiency and conservation, and the orientation ended with a presentation and tour of the University of Scranton’s LEED certified facilities, given by Mark Murphy, the university’s assistant director of facilities. The oath was administered by The Honorable Hugh F. Mundy.
A combined member orientation for Iowa, Texas and Arkansas members was held in Fayetteville, AR. A highlight of the orientation was the announcement of our new Arkansas Energy Corps coordinator, Daniel Dean. Dan completed two terms as an Energy Corps member in Arkansas and is pleased to continue his involvement as a staff member. Jerrid and Al were on hand to present their respective human resources and performance measurement workshops during the training. Michele Halsell of the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas talked to the group about green energy jobs in today’s economy. Training wrapped up with a tour of a LEED certified public library in Fayetteville. Local Energy Corps alumni joined the new members for a potluck lunch and led the swearing-in ceremony, passing off the proverbial torch.
After the training in Pennsylvania, member Russell King, serving with The Energy Coordinating Agency in Philadelphia, said, “I am excited and look forward to providing a year of service, reaching out to local and low-income families to provide them with the tools they need to overcome burdensome obligations to their energy bills, helping them to keep more money in their pockets.”
NCAT’s national program director Kaleena Miller reports that 10 of the 13 host sites are returning organizations. She said “We look forward to continuing the great work that the Energy Corps program members are involved in across the country and that additional members will be recruited and placed around the country in the spring to fill the remaining 15 spots for the 2012-2013 grant year.”