Feds Praise Bronx Company For Job Creation

Top federal officials came to the south Bronx on Wednesday, June 23, to laud a borough company for its use of federal stimulus money to create green energy jobs and weatherize multi-family buildings across the country.

Since receiving more than $19 million in funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act over the past year, the Bronx-based Association for Energy Affordability, Inc. has created more than 50 sustainable jobs for weatherization consultants and technicians.

Sims was joined by U.S. Department of Energy undersecretary Kristina Johnson to discuss the progress the departments have made by teaming up on projects like weatherization, where old buildings are retrofitted to run more efficiently and more cost-effectively.

The weatherization program at AEA has nearly tripled since receiving the federal money, officials said. The eight-day training program teaches people to analyze existing buildings through energy audits that can pinpoint where best to cut energy costs for operating the building, which could mean anything from roof and window replacements to buying new, enery-efficient refrigerators and light-bulbs.

According to Barry Seebachan, weatherization director at the Bronx Shepherds Restoration Corp., which is a subsidiary of AEA that deals with homes in Throggs Neck, his group has weatherized almost 500 buildings this year. They plan to fix up 1,500 more – a roughly threefold increase over last year.

AEA was recently awarded a $800,000 grant from the Department of Energy to use to expand the weatherization-training program across the country with distance learning equipment.

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