On November 3rd, Our Daily Bread Employment Center (ODBEC) entered into the green industry. Supported by a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration, ODBEC implemented a Weatherization Learnership Training Program. The Learnership is a unique training and on the job employment program that includes partnerships with C&O Conservation, Maryland Energy Conservation, and the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).

The Weatherization Learnership training includes classroom instruction, field training, and industry certification in weatherization to six apprentice level technicians. Recently, the crew successfully completed the CCBC sponsored weatherization certification course. This included passing the weatherization examination with a score of 70 or greater for certification.

The training is led by Crew Chief Mark Gatewood and includes five technicians. Each member of the crew was a former job seeker within one of the ODBEC programs. Programs include Work 4 Success, a week-long employability workshop helping job seekers cultivate practical skills necessary to pursue stable employment, Christopher Place Employment Academy, an intensive residential program that provides education and training as well as emotional, spiritual, and addiction recovery support to formerly homeless men.

On December 1st, the crew began energy conservation upgrades for residents of Catholic Charities Senior Housing at Basilica Place in Baltimore. Upgrades included caulking, weather stripping, replacing light bulbs, shower heads, and more. Today, the Learnership crew has completed over 100 units at Basilica Place and anticipates completing all upgrades in the next few months. Afterwards, the Learnership crew will begin similar repairs in other designated Catholic Charities sites in metropolitan Baltimore.

The Weatherization Learnership Training Program is a pathway to long-term employment and career development in a rapidly changing economy.