Uncommon Good’s Building Blocks program is creating community based sustainability projects in the Inland Empire. These projects educate communities about how they can become more sustainable through energy efficiency, water conservation and other practices.
In addition to community sustainability education, Building Blocks integrates job skills development for recently educated and/or trained underemployed and unemployed individuals, including those trained through our community college and other training partners. The projects also develop apprenticeship and employment opportunities for the trainees.
Community education about energy efficiency and sustainable practices is a core activity of the program to further stimulate market demand. Workshops and forums invite neighborhood residents to come and learn how sustainability can benefit their health and their finances. As homeowners learn of the benefits of sustainable practices, they help disseminate this information throughout their communities.
The Building Blocks program provides workforce development through hands-on and advanced training, as well as apprenticeships, in distressed communities. In this way, projects are building a much needed pipeline for community college students to career pathways, giving them the experience that employers require, or that the students need to set up their own businesses.
Building Blocks workers provide home energy assessments and basic energy upgrade measures for the home that are a low-cost way of starting to reduce the energy usage in a home and lower energy bills. This is a more cost effective way to determine energy efficiency priorities for the home rather than starting with higher cost conventional home energy contractors. Homeowners are provided an energy recommendation report by the program as a guide for pursuing the energy efficiency and water conservation measures that will provide the most energy savings and be most cost effective.