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The U.S. Department of Energy announced Friday that the Tlingit and Haida Central Council will receive more than $960,000 in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand Alaska's weatherization training programs and establish a new weatherization training center in Juneau.
The award is one of 34 projects in 27 states selected to receive $29 million in stimulus funding.
The funds will be used to expand weatherization services for low-income households in Southeast Alaska by providing weatherization-related job training, according to the Department of Energy.
The program hopes to create 25 paid, on-the-job apprenticeships, employ trained personnel to address low-income housing units in need of weatherization, and support a training center and test home.
The training center will help prepare workers, supervisors and inspectors to work in the growing field of energy efficiency retrofits, using a combination of classroom, online and hands-on learning tools.
Under the Recovery Act, the Obama administration invested $5 billion to ramp up the pace of weatherization.
The Weatherization Assistance Program enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making homes more energy efficient.
The U.S. Department of Energy provides funding to states, U.S. overseas territories and Indian tribal governments to manage the day-to-day details of the program. These governments, in turn, fund a network of community action agencies, nonprofit organizations and local governments that provide these weatherization services.
During the past 33 years, WAP has provided weatherization services to more than 6.4 million low-income households. The program funded 200,000 home weatherization projects since February alone, using stimulus and annual program funds.
Families receiving weatherization services see their annual energy bills reduced by an average of about $350, depending on fuel prices.
The Central Council is the only Alaskan organization to receive funding under the training program announced Friday.