Montana Communities Receive Newly Trained AmeriCorps Energy Advocates

Butte, Montana -Ten new NCAT Energy Corps members have taken the AmeriCorps oath and started their term of service in Montana. On October 25th members in Montana started their service with a comprehensive training to prepare them for local energy projects in communities throughout the state. The member pre service training included presentations from a variety of individuals on Energy and Community organizing topics. Don Reich of KEMA presented a hands-on session covering residential weatherization techniques, Deb Young of NorthWestern Energy, NCAT Program Specialist Sherry Vogel and NCAT Executive Director Kathy Hadley participated in a panel discussion about low income energy issues in Montana, Dave Ryan NCAT program specialist presented on Wind and Solar Energy and NCAT Energy Corps program staff Holly Hill and Todd Hunkler led discussions on a variety of community organizing strategies. Members assisted NCAT AmeriCorps VISTA member Camille Green on a service project on NCAT’s Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training (SIFT) project.

The new group also toured Sage Mountain Center with owner Christopher Borton. Sage Mountain is a working demonstration center of solar and wind power applications, sustainable building construction and small-scale organic food production. In a final ceremony on Friday afternoon, NCAT board member Art Noonan administered the AmeriCorps pledge of service, and offered words of encouragement as the members prepared to depart for their host sites. The training was capped off with Montana Energy Corps Host site supervisors joining the group for the swearing in ceremony and a celebration afterward.

The Energy Corps is very pleased to have four members returning for a second year of service: Steven Eagle Feathers, Kaleena Miller, Patty Jean Morning and Andrew Valainis will all be serving a second term.

New members to the program include: Ryan Ayers, Kiran Singh, Nate Condron, Martin Knight, George J Ball, and Kimberly Pekar. Please browse our website and check back to find out more about our Montana members and their service projects throughout Montana.

During their week of training Energy Corps members stayed at Homestake Lodge an off grid ski lodge outside of Butte, were provided lunches from local restaurants including Front St Market, The Red Door Café, Trimbo’s Pizza, and Wetona’s Café and enjoyed a trolly tour of Historic Uptown Butte, Montana.

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