Workforce Development brought to you by USGBC Partners

26 Sep 2023
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Workforce Development brought to you by USGBC Partners

Workforce Development brought to you by USGBC Partners

26 Sep 2023
About the speakers
  • Monique Owens
    Monique Owens
    Regional Director, Market Transformation & Development at U.S. Green Building Council
    As the Regional Director for the U.S. Green Building Council, Monique oversees market transformation and development activities in the Middle Atlantic and New England. Through her work, she directs USGBC's community programming in conjunction with local volunteer leaders by overseeing market development, strategic planning, event management, and education outreach. Monique holds a BA in International Studies and Global Gender Studies from SUNY at University at Buffalo and an MPA from SUNY at Buffalo State.
  • Ellen Honigstock
    Ellen Honigstock
    Senior Director of Education at Urban Green Council
    Ellen is responsible for Urban Green’s signature educational programs including GPRO, a national green building certificate program for contractors, trades, building managers and operators and Crushing the Energy Code, for architects and engineers. Under Ellen’s direction, Urban Green has trained over 30,000 workers from all sectors of the industry. Ellen is also responsible for Urban Green Council’s public programs about a wide range of leading-edge topics that move the building energy industry forward. Ellen has over 30 years of experience as an architect, was a committee chair of the NYC Green Codes Task Force and a member of the NYC Local Law 97 Communications Working Group. Ellen is also a co-founder of Solarize Brooklyn, the first Solarize program in New York City.
  • Michelle Benavides
    Michelle Benavides
    Executive Director at ISSP
    Michelle Benavides is Executive Director of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), a successful business leader, international trainer, and strategic community-builder. Michelle leads ISSP's mission to empower sustainability professionals across the workforce and around the world through capacity building and collaboration. As a LEED AP BD+C, USGBC Faculty Member, and Fitwel Ambassador, Michelle has trained more than 3,000 professionals worldwide by delivering on-demand courses and in-person sessions. In her community-building work, she has represented ISSP, ASHRAE, USGBC, IDEAS for Us and other organizations to teach sustainability fundamentals. She is also a proud former classroom teacher and holds a Masters in Education. Michelle believes it will take collective action to create the future envisioned by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Her mission is to accelerate the impact of future leaders, expand the knowledge of sustainability professionals, and inspire everyone to step into their power to create a more sustainable tomorrow, because we truly are better together.
  • Neil	Qusba
    Neil Qusba
    Director of Construction at YouthBuild USA
    In 2004, I joined the YouthBuild mission to assume the position of Construction Manager for the YouthBuild program in Waukegan, Illinois. As the Construction Manager, I was responsible for all operations, logistics, training and scheduling inside the Construction Department. In 2011, I began consulting for Youthbuild International facilitating Building Science, Energy Auditing and Weatherization workshops in Brcko, Bosnia.I was given the unique opportunity of introducing energy auditing equipment, such as blower door technology, to the region which would enable Bosnians, for the first time, to measure ventilation rates (ACH), ensuring healthier and more livable physical environments. The introduction of such equipment, when partnered with infrared imaging (IR) equipment, gave BiH the opportunity to align themselves with widely accepted energy efficiency standards while measuring the thermal performance of common building envelopes. Eventually, I would move into a role that would assist with scaling our international programs across a dozen countries -- with a focus on Africa and Central America. In March of 2020, with the arrival of the pandemic, much of our international work at YouthBuild came to a grinding halt. The following month, the position of Director of Construction,YBUSA became available, and by the grace of God, I applied for this position and was hired on officially in June of 2020. In this position, I am charged with supporting our field of over 200+ programs with the implementation of their construction component. More specifically, the work of the Construction Department is to ensure that YouthBuild Construction Trainers and Managers are provided with the support they need to effectively deliver the construction component to YouthBuild trainees. In addition, our department ensures that new (YouthBuild DOL) grantees are apprised of all the requirements set forth by the Department of Labor as it pertains to Trainee Certification, the development of Affordable Housing and staying abreast of the latest trends around Green Sector Jobs and Strategies -- to ultimately best prepare our young people to transition into the (green) construction sector.
  • Michaela	Boren
    Michaela Boren
    Manager, Green Programs at 32BJ Training Fund
    Michaela Boren-Kapadia, LEED Green Associate, MFBA, is the Manager for Green Programs at 32BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund, a joint labor-management partnership that offers free training to eligible 32BJ building service union members. Her role at 32BJ includes managing more than 25 green courses, teaching the LEED Green Associate course, and working with property managers and building operators in creating courses that give 32BJ members the tools and training they need to meet green-related challenges and grow in a quickly changing building industry. Michaela’s experience includes training unemployed adults and helping them enter the “green” industry through grant-funded workforce development programs at LaGuardia Community College, and managing energy training courses for city building operators under NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services through EMI at CUNY SPS. Before returning to 32BJ Training Fund, she was part of EN-POWER Group’s lighting team as a project manager. She is part of the LEED Existing Buildings Consensus Commitee 2023 and NESEA's BuildingEnergy NYC Content Comittee 2023. She received her BS in Environmental Science from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, and her Master’s in Environmental Studies from University of Pennsylvania.

Key takeaways

- Understand how to meet climate goals by creating and implementing proper training programs.

- Participants will be able to communicate the value of local support and partnerships to push how communities implement climate action.

- Understand the importance of creating equitable training opportunities for students, building operators and facility staff.

- Participants will learn how to align local and regional plans with the standards and best practices of Green Building Education programs.