Butte, Mont. — Art Noonan, a director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and deputy director of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department, administered the AmeriCorps oath of service to nine Montana Energy Corps members during direitos a swearing-in ceremony Friday at NCAT.
The ceremony marked the successful completion of a week of training for Energy Corps members in preparation for their term of AmeriCorps volunteer service. Members will officially begin their service terms on October 11 and will spend 11 months providing services in communities across the state. They will provide hands-on energy assistance to families in need, conduct energy education activities and help communities develop energy plans.
In its second year, the Montana Energy Corps AmeriCorps project was developed and is managed by NCAT and is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Governor’s Office for Community Service. In addition to addressing community energy needs by promoting energy efficiency and conservation, members receive job training and experience needed for green-collar careers.
Member training modules included community organizing and sustainable energy, home energy basics, residential weatherization installation, energy efficiency techniques, renewable energy issues and health and safety in the field. Members also had an opportunity to tour Sage Mountain Center in Whitehall, where they learned about passive solar home design, strawbale and cordwood construction, small wind generation and other energy technologies and principles.
First assignment for the newly-installed Energy Corps members is attending a NorthWestern Energy expo in Havre. Members will take requests from people needing assistance with installing residential weatherization kits, provided by NorthWestern on Energy, and will follow-up with actual in-home installations in the coming weeks.
Host organizations for members this year include Blackfeet Community College, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Citizens for a Better Flathead, Fort Belknap Tribal Administration, homeWORD, Hot Springs Sustainability Project, Lewis and Clark County, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana State University Northern, NCAT, Opportunity Link and University of Montana Western.