Mount Airy, North Carolina - Polyurethane foam specialist NCFI Polyurethanes sees green construction as "the brightest spot in the US building industry." According to the US Green Building Council, the green building industry is not as affected by the overall down market, NCFI said in a company statement.
About 80 percent of pre-1980 US homes and a good percentage of current homes are also under-insulated, according to the US Department of Energy, which adds that demand for new green building is exploding. This has given rise to a swell of opportunity, both for manufacturers and entrepreneurial craftsmen, NCFI said.
And this means demand for what NCFI calls "green collar" workers has intensified.
"Consumer demand for green building products and methods is growing; architects are specifying these products into buildings; and builders/contractors are installing them at an accelerated pace, NCFI's senior vice president Nelson Clark notes.
But a potential stumbling block might be lack of qualified high-performance spray-foam applicators, and NCFI aims to address that, by recruiting, training and supporting top-quality insulation installers/applicators. A new website, www.spfcareers.com, is "designed to attract hard-working, dedicated people who want to take control of their own destiny by tying it to the burgeoning green jobs economy," Clark said.
For people considering a career change, or who are out of work from layoffs and closings, the green building industry can be an ideal choice. As homeowners demand green, sustainable products, demand on the builder/contractor level is slightly lagging, according to NCFI.
"As an employer, it's critical to find, recruit and train an infrastructure of responsible applicators, installers and contractors to help keep up with the growing demand for green building," Clark added. "It is these green collar workers that will continue to help green construction shine as the bright spot in the building industry."