Everblue, an organization that specializes in online training and instructional design has been contracted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Division of Energy Resources (DER) to increase the efficiency, quality, and effectiveness of the Minnesota Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
Specifically, Everblue is developing a weatherization badging program aligned with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) weatherization badges toolkit. The program will include online training modules that will allow technicians to earn a number of weatherization badges, demonstrating competency by both completing online coursework and hands-on verification. Everblue’s work is in support of Minnesota’s 2022 goal to develop a workforce pipeline to support the growth and stabilization of ongoing weatherization activities.
Minnesota WAP is a predominantly federally funded, statewide, residential assistance program for income-eligible households run by Minnesota’s Department of Commerce. WAP services are comprehensive in nature, utilizing a whole-house approach in order to achieve, on average, 20-30% in permanent energy reduction through the implementation of energy efficiency measures.
Since 2008, Everblue has offered home performance training to over 70,000 building shell professionals across the country. Everblue’s IREC-accredited curriculum is aligned with the nationally recognized Building Performance Institute (BPI) standards as well as the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Professionals (HEP) program. As an approved BPI Test Center, Everblue is likewise authorized to administer and proctor the written and field exams for the esteemed BPI Building Analyst Certification, HEP Energy Auditor Certification, HEP Quality Control Inspector Certification, and others.
“We’re delighted to be working with the MN Department of Commerce and to help them lay a foundation for success for future weatherization work in the state,” said Chris Boggiano, President of Everblue. “Not only have we been offering weatherization training for 10+ years, but our staff is uniquely qualified to deliver the kind of impactful training that Minnesota is looking for. It’s really a perfect match, and our goal is to exceed their expectations on what’s possible.”
Everblue’s master instructors, Anthony Ericksen and Bruce Oxendale, have worked in the building science field for a combined 30 years, both with specialties in cold-climate housing stocks similar to Minnesota. Anthony is also a professional actor and videographer with expert experience in creating online training modules.
Over the last decade, BPI has trusted Everblue to participate in several pilot programs, including the administration of remotely proctored certification exams during the Coronavirus pandemic. Since 2020, Everblue has leveraged its expertise with education technology to develop and deliver online training or proctored exams for several state government agencies, to help them grow and evolve without compromising the health or safety of participants. The Departments of Agriculture in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Iowa, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and Arkansas have all partnered with Everblue on instructional design and education technology services.
“The combination of technical weatherization knowledge AND online instructional design makes Everblue the perfect choice for elevating Minnesota’s WAP program,” Boggiano said. “As a Veteran Owned Small Business, we believe that America can’t have national security without energy security, and the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens are directly impacted by Weatherization Assistance Programs in every state. We take this partnership - and this work - seriously, and we aren’t happy unless our students and organizational partners absolutely love us.”
For more information about Everblue’s BPI training or its instructional technology services, contact Chris Boggiano by emailing chris at goeverblue.com.