The Renewable Energy and Efficiency Workforce (RENEW) Training Program is a partnership between the City of Charlotte, SchermCo, Goodwill, and the Urban League of the Carolinas. Starting in September of 2020, participants received heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry-certified credentials required for entry-level technician positions, job placement assistance, work-based learning (WBL), and career development opportunities.
SchermCo served as the primary point of contact and strategic project manager throughout the RENEW initiative. The following information serves as a snapshot of key processes and outcomes learned.
Context + Goals
- The goal of the RENEW program was to place a total of 60 Charlotte-based residents that were displaced or disadvantaged as a result of COVID-19 into entry-level HVAC and related technical positions.
- The City of Charlotte partnered with Urban League of Central Carolinas & Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont to provide a 13-week training course per cohort that culminated in students taking their Universal Certification exams.
- SchermCo provided key project management support, including; participant outcomes tracking, career event coordination, and management of the Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) – a 150+ corporate council of industry representatives.
- Both Urban League (UL) and Goodwill (GW) were responsible for the student recruitment, student relationships, training, and job placements of their graduates.
- In coordination with SchermCo, both UL & GW hosted hiring events such as Mentor Mondays, Lunch & Learns, Career Fairs, and other opportunities to ensure interaction between students and corporate partners.
- Students received a $15/hour training stipend throughout the cohort as well as training materials, equipment, and personal supports (transportation, childcare, etc.)
The RENEW initiative was made possible with financial assistance from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which was created to provide economic assistance to American workers and communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The City of Charlotte invested approximately $543,271.41 from CARES funds to support the RENEW initiative. In addition to CARES funds, the City of Charlotte granted $433,984 in general funds to support this work. Lastly, Trane Technologies served as the core corporate sponsor for the RENEW program. The goal of this partnership was to simultaneously support Trane’s hiring needs while providing RENEW students an opportunity to learn more about Trane and their vendor network.
RENEW Project Facilitation
SchermCo served as the main point of contact between the UL, GW, and the City of Charlotte and organized a Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) that consists of 150+ corporate & non-profit partners to connect employers directly with RENEW participants. SchermCo hosted CAC Advisory meetings once a quarter and monthly/weekly check-ins with the City of Charlotte, UL, and GW to support outcomes tracking, coordinate CAC involvement, and troubleshoot any employment-related barriers.
|Total Participants Received Training in 2020-21||Total # Completed Training 2020-21||Total # Employed 2020-21||Total # Employed in HVAC Industry 2020-21||Total # Employed in HVAC Related Industry 2020-21||Average Salary 2020-21|
The RENEW Training Program served 28.8% female students and 72.02% male with 95.5% consisting of African American, Latino, Asian and mixed races. Two additional cohorts are currently being facilitated (1st quarter of 2022) by training partners, UL & GW, serving an additional 29 students.
Integral to the RENEW Training Program has been the fostering of the CAC and ongoing support provided to UL & GW. SchermCo is grateful to have worked with the City of Charlotte on this million dollar initiative and looks forward to facilitating more forward-thinking workforce development solutions to come.
Questions? Please get in touch with Greg Schermbeck at firstname.lastname@example.org.