U.S. Senator Jon Tester Visits Weatherization Training Site to Recognize New Weatherization Training Program

Grant Supports the Growth of Community Weatherization Programs and Green Jobs

BOZEMAN, Mont.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- U.S. Senator Jon Tester joined the National Community Action Foundation and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) as they awarded the Montana Weatherization Training Center at Montana State University with a $354,000 grant to establish the Weatherization Television Network (WXTV), a weekly, 45-minute, multimedia webcast open to weatherization workers nationwide. The grant will be used to help meet the need for easy-access materials to refresh or expand the skills of weatherization workers. This is one of nine grants across eight states to increase the capacity of community action agencies and weatherization assistance program agencies.

"This project shows us how efficiency and cutting waste can start at home," said Senator Tester. "It's no surprise that a common-sense innovation like this came about right here in Big Sky Country."

The grant has enabled the Montana Weatherization Training Center to develop a simple, easy-to-use distance learning platform which supports green collar workers seeking updated technical training in residential efficiency retrofits. The program offers an enhanced training product to the national weatherization workforce. It also meets the state's need for easy-access materials to refresh or expand worker skills.

"The weatherization training partnership is based on our shared belief that energy efficiency and economic development are inextricably linked," said Kenneth Cohen, vice president of public and government affairs for ExxonMobil. "Programs like those operated by MSU will expand career opportunities for American workers and help American families save money by making the buildings in which they live more energy efficient."

"Weatherization is a critical tool in the quest for greater energy and economic efficiency," said David Bradley, executive director of the National Community Action Foundation. "The foundation and ExxonMobil are proud to award this weatherization training partnership grant to help MSU to adapt and share its expertise in weatherization training."

"With the need to ramp up a new generation of workers and to keep them on the job, rather than spend hours in the classroom getting trained, WXTV is an effective solution to provide timely and real-life training content at the convenience of the worker," said Michael P. Vogel, professor, Montana State University Extension.

The National Community Action Foundation-ExxonMobil Weatherization Training Partnership was funded by a $5 million contribution from ExxonMobil to create a competitive grant program that supports advanced weatherization training models. The training models use creative curricula, innovative partnerships and cutting-edge technologies to train more skilled workers to meet the U.S. Administration's goal of weatherizing more homes. The partnership seeks to increase America's energy efficiency and stimulate job creation and economic growth by creating a sustainable career path for weatherization workers.

About the Montana Weatherization Training Center at Montana State University

The Montana Weatherization Training Center is a partnership of Montana State University Extension Housing program and the Montana Weatherization Assistance Program administrated by the Montana Department Public Health and Human Services. Since 1991 the MT Wx Training Center has provided training and certification to weatherization agency crews and contractors throughout the nation. In addition to providing comprehensive year-round weatherization training, the Montana Training Center has distinguished itself by providing weatherization training to Tribal Nations, developing distance learning training, as well as developing training curriculum and programs focusing on health and safety related to weatherization.

About NCAF

NCAF is the voice of America's Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in Washington. NCAF works with members of Congress, the executive branch and state governments on behalf of the 1,100 local organizations in the Community Services Block Grant network to advocate for effective policies and meaningful resources that will address the root causes of poverty. NCAF analyzes national and state legislative and policy proposals and collects, analyzes and disseminates data about programs and investment strategies focused on reducing poverty in low-income communities. NCAF also serves as a liaison between the CAA network, allied national organizations and private sector leaders.

About ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to find better, safer and cleaner ways to provide energy to support development and improved living standards around the world. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world.

    Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation