Energize! Sitka provided locals with the opportunity to get their certification in hazardous waste removal free of charge as a critical part of its mission to provide careers that make our community a little more "green". Sara Martin, Grant Director for Energize! Sitka partnered with Vocational Training and Resource Center (VTRC) based out of Juneau to bring this often forgotten green career.
What is HAZWOPER, you might ask? HAZWOPER stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Responders. This 40-hour intensive course led by John Lewis, instructor from VTRC, guided participants through proper clean-up procedures for those engaged with hazardous waste removal. Course topics included overview of safety standards and regulations, toxicity, risk assessment, personal protective equipment (such as the one shown in the photo the left), and safe work practices to name a few.
Six of the participants completed the course in its entirety and passed the exam to either receive their first HAZWOPER certification or attain re-certification.
Small changes to a drafty or poorly insulated house can result in a significant drop in winter heating for a Sitka homeowner, not mention reduce the burden on the hydroelectric demand which is currently running at capacity. With this in mind, the Sitka Conservation Society and the Southeast Alaska Career Center partnered to bring residents five days of weatherization workshops led by Jim Ward, Board President, from the Alaska Craftsman Home Program in November 2011.
The first three days of workshops were geared towards construction trade professionals. Topics included Building Energy Efficiency Standards and Advanced Cold Climate Building. Each participant attended full day classes and had the opportunity to update or attain the Residential Endorsement Certificate. The professional workshops also offered partial education requirements for state licensing. Of the participants who took the exam, 100 percent passed.
Following the workshops for professionals, ACHP offered shorter do-it-yourself weatherization workshops geared for homeowners. Topics in these eight workshops included energy efficient insulation, windows and doors, ventilation, and lighting and appliances. Participants were able to pick two hour sessions with a licensed professional.
Over 175 participants ranging from homeowners to local contractors, to home auditors, city staff and more attended the workshops. The workshop facilitator was impressed by the turnout and arranged to return to Sitka with more weatherization workshops in 2012. The set days for the workshops are March 3-7. Information on specific session information and times will be updated in the future.