Unionized Green Construction Training Program Provides New Opportunities For Minnesotans

Published: December 27, 2013

Minority and low-income residents of the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area now have a new opportunity to learn green construction skills thanks to a partnership between the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation and Summit Academy OIC. The program—Build MN Green—teaches participants the green construction, occupational safety and environmental awareness skills currently wanted by employers in Minnesota’s growing construction industry.

As part of Build MN Green, the 250 program participants will complete coursework that will help them understand safety rules, green building tactics, including LEED® Awareness, and CPR and first aid skills.  “This program is helping people get a leg up in their search for a job in the construction industry,” said David Foster, President of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation. “As the industry becomes more and more green and efficient, the need for workers with these kinds of skills will only increase. We’re proud to help train these future workers.”

Construction jobs in the Twin Cities are expected to expand by 37.7 percent between 2010 and 2020, representing 17,932 jobs. These jobs are fueled by a resurgence of housing development and the building of major sporting facilities in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The use of LEED—an industry-recognized program for green building design, construction, operations and maintenance created by the U.S. Green Building Council—is growing rapidly in today’s environment, especially in the public sector. Minnesota is currently home to more than 260 LEED certified buildings, including 236 commercial buildings.  Summit Academy works in partnership with the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades and Build MN Green courses are already underway. Following graduation, Summit Academy and the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation will help graduates find full-time employment with construction companies and building trades unions’ apprentice programs.

Earlier this year, Summit Academy OIC was selected to serve as the Employment Assistance Firm for the construction of the Minnesota Vikings stadium.