Energized by the White House’s recent announcement of the America’s College Promise Proposal, over 600 community college presidents, administrators, instructors and partners assembled in Newport Beach, CA for the American Association of Community Colleges Workforce Development Institute at the end of January. IREC’s Credentialing Program was on hand and met over three days with numerous potential applicants for the IREC credential and workforce development partners at the IREC booth.
According to the College Board’s report, Trends in College Pricing, average published tuition and fee prices increased up to 3.7 percent in 2014, depending on sector. This increase is higher than the 2.0 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index during the same time period, and while lower than the average annual increases in the past five years, continues a concerning trend that has been highlighted in the educational and other media for years now.
I still find pulling out a yellow legal pad along with a few sharp pencils productive as a way of jotting down notes, ideas and doodles. Tis the season to do so as we start at the top of a new year. My top yellow pad one liner – it looks like 2015 will be the time for new models – refers to new policy, technical and operational ones. Things could be shaken up or at least stirred. Let me bring you into a conversation the IREC team had just a few weeks ago.
When I worked as an electrician, I knew that most people had little idea how much effort went into installing a light and switch in a home. They only saw the end product – the light and switch – and didn’t always “value” the time and effort it took to install those devices. They rarely saw all my work accomplished within the walls.
Along with the season’s time-honored traditions, comes time to pause and reflect on the past year and year to come. Here’s a closer look at what we can expect to play out in the national regulatory arena next year. It’s definitely shaping up to be an energetic year.
Heating and cooling are not “nice-to-haves” in most areas of the U.S. – they are a necessity. However, this basic need creates a disproportionate burden on low-income families. Statistics vary on how much low-income families typically spend on their energy bills, but it’s in the range of 6-20 percent of their annual income, much higher than the national average of 3 percent. As a result, government agencies and utilities have a long history of helping low-income customers meet their electricity needs.
Thanks to your feedback and numerous candid conversations with you about the value you’ve realized from your credential, we have a number of initiatives underway to improve your experience and position instructor certification with stakeholders as crucial to the success of our industry.
Fall is when IREC releases its annual report, Trends Shaping Our Clean Energy Future. These 35 pages are not just a litany of our activities but dig into deeper reasoning of what we’ve done over the past 12 months; why it’s important; who we’ve touched; and where it leads. Do take a look. From both our national workforce and regulatory experience, here are six trends we see heading into 2015.
IREC premieres our new industry-targeted video this week in Las Vegas at Solar Power International (SPI), Accelerate Your Success: Quality is quiet. Mistakes are not. With thanks to ACT Foundation funding, through the National Network of Business and Industry Associations, the film clearly traces why credible credentials count and reduce costly mistakes. You’ll see we employed a bit of cartoon humor to bring home the message that “the best new technology is only as good as the workmanship around it.”
According to market research conducted by the Shelton Group, 80 percent of Americans don’t think they use more energy today than they did five years ago, and about half think their homes are already energy efficient. As misguided as this perception may be, it certainly throws a wrench in the works when trying to sell consumers on energy efficient products or retrofit work.