Introduction and Overview
This Sustainable Workforce Initiative focuses on addressing the needs of energy-burdened residents, improving local government capacity to serve those residents, and enhancing the local workforce skillset and capability to improve housing stock and make energy efficiency repairs. Awarded through the Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund in late 2019, support for this initiative is provided by a partnership between the Kendeda Foundation and the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN).
Over a two-year period (2020-2021), the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability and Resilience and local partners will carry out project activities that address two major issues:
- Alleviating bottlenecks in existing energy efficiency programs by focusing on job training and workforce development efforts for individuals already in the weatherization or contracting fields as well as upcoming students and young professionals; and
- Supporting grassroots community groups to provide outreach and engagement to residents by connecting them to programming and resources, both for safe and healthy homes issues as well as for workforce training.
Sustainable Workforce project partners include:
- BLDG Memphis
- City of Memphis, Office of Business Diversity and Compliance
- City of Memphis, Division of Housing and Community Development
- Green & Healthy Homes Initiative
- Innovate Memphis
- Memphis Area Minority Contractors Association
- Moore Tech
- United Housing Inc.
Community Outreach Partners Opportunity
BLDG Memphis is seeking nonprofit Community Partners to support community outreach for the Sustainable Workforce Initiative. Through this opportunity, community associations and community development groups focused primarily in North and South Memphis will be contracted to promote Sustainable Workforce Initiative activities within their respective communities. These include opportunities for both:
- Job training and skills development for individuals already in the weatherization or contracting fields as well as upcoming students and young professionals, and
- Community and resident services related to healthy and energy-efficient housing.
Nonprofit, community-based organizations will be selected as Community Partners, and will be responsible for helping to connect residents with the various opportunities through the Sustainable Workforce Initiative as described below. The selected organizations will have access to a budget of between $3,000 and $5,000 to support community engagement activities.
Strategies used may vary by neighborhood and should include distributing project material and information through a variety of channels, such as:
- Community newsletters,
- Neighborhood networks,
- Existing neighborhood events,
- Social media, and
- Hosting training sessions on resources available through project partners.
While the project team would typically expect the inclusion of in-person events and meetings, we understand that the COVID-19 pandemic may limit those activities.
Partners are encouraged to be creative in their recommended approaches with the goal of reaching diverse segments of the community, including:
- Individuals who work outside typical office hours,
- Those facing employment barriers, and
- Non-English speaking populations.
Partners are encouraged to provide detail on their experience using online platforms for communication and reporting in their applications.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, all Community Partners will be expected to practice distancing and personal protection for any individuals or groups involved. Participants should follow guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shelby County Health Department and City of Memphis regarding social distance, gatherings, and personal protective equipment.
Sustainable Workforce Project Partner Activities
Project activities will be ongoing through the end of 2021. BLDG Memphis will provide information on scheduled activities to the selected Community Partners as it becomes available.
Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) will conduct the following training and community activities:
- Master Home Environmentalist (MHE) Trainings and Home Assessments in North and South Memphis
- Spanish-language training in lead-safe practices, weatherization, or RRP targeted to Latinx contractors
- Public outreach “healthy housing” events
Innovate Memphis will conduct outreach related to their online one-stop shop portal system to connect low-income and energy burdened homeowners to relevant programs and resources.
Memphis Area Minority Contractors Association
MAMCA – in collaboration with the City of Memphis’ Office of Business Diversity and Compliance (OBDC) and Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development (Memphis HCD) – will offer training opportunities for contractors, including workplace safety, lead-safe practices, Repair, Renovation, and Painting (RRP), and weatherization.
Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development
Memphis HCD will support training and certification opportunities to expand capacity of current contractors and grow the pool of eligible contractors for the city’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Funds may also be used to perform weatherization work on eligible housing units.
Moore Tech will deploy a new weatherization curriculum to expand weatherization-specific contractor trainings with hands on experience, and hopes to recruit new students for these programs.
United Housing Inc.
United Housing Inc. will conduct educational outreach on housing program, housing rights, affordable housing opportunities, home ownership counseling, and COVID-related housing assistance and resources.
Community Partner Selection Process
- The application period for the first round of Community Partners opens Monday, August 31, 2020 at 9 a.m.
- Two virtual information sessions will be held at the following times during the application period:
- Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
- Join Via Web: Type into web browser zoom.us/join Meeting ID: 81685781826 Pass Code: 532676
- Join Via Phone: 301-715-8592 Meeting ID: 81685781826# Pass Code: 532676#
- Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
- Join Via Web: Type into web browser zoom.us/join Meeting ID: 81778037821 Pass Code: 347502
- Join Via Phone: 301-715-8592 Meeting ID: 81778037821# Pass Code: 347502#
- Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
- Questions regarding the application, expectations, and the selection process can be submitted via email to engage@BLDGmemphis.org or by calling 901-725-0460. Please note that due to BLDG Memphis’ COVID-19 remote work policy it may take 1-2 business days to respond to any inquiries. All questions received during the info sessions and individually and responses will be posted at bldgmemphis.org/sustainableworkforce.
- Applications are due no later than Friday, September 25, 2020 at 5 p.m. Please submit your completed application to BLDG Memphis:
- A cross-agency Selection Committee will review the applications and select the Community Partners. This Committee will consist of representatives from the Office of Sustainability and Resilience and project partner agencies. Successful applicants will have extensive, established relationships at the neighborhood or district level and ideally, experience in community outreach and engagement.
- Community Partner selections will be announced and applicants notified by email no later than Friday, October 16, 2020 at 5 p.m.
- A required orientation session with selected partners will be held on Thursday, October 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Payment and Reporting
Selected Community Partners will be enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with BLDG Memphis which will determine the payment schedule, scope of work, and reporting requirements. BLDG Memphis expects to make an initial partial payment to the contracted parties, with a final payment due upon delivery of required reports and deliverables. All Community Partners will be required to provide regular reports to BLDG Memphis detailing project progress, engagement, and outcomes.
BLDG Memphis Non-Discrimination Policy
BLDG Memphis does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.