Resource Innovation Institute (RII) is partnering with CEA design-build general contractor ARCO/Murray to develop the first CEA Credentialing Curriculum to answer the need for highly qualified CEA design and construction professionals. This initiative is supported by the USDA under the project titled, Data-Driven Market Transformation for Efficient CEA, for which RII is the coordinating entity.
“In order to guarantee efficiency in a CEA facility, it must be designed and built by trained professionals who are skilled and knowledgeable in how to build structures specifically created for plant growth,” said Derek Smith, Executive Director of Resource Innovation Institute. “As one of the leading general contracting firms with extensive CEA experience across the United States and Canada, ARCO/Murray was a natural partner for this effort. Through our combined expertise, RII and ARCO/Murray will be able to tailor the curriculum directly toward the design and construction sector.”
ARCO/Murray is a design and construction firm with a dedicated CEA team that will serve as advisors, content contributors and testers for the curriculum as it is developed. RII has a vast CEA network and industry-informed knowledge via its members and has been recognized for resource efficiency, benchmarking and development of best practices. The curriculum in development will provide a complete and exhaustive overview of CEA while creating a pathway for credentials for designers, construction employees and tradespeople.
"We have witnessed a growing demand for highly skilled and qualified construction professionals in the budding field of CEA. This partnership with RII to develop a credentialing program is crucial to meeting that need and providing a specialized workforce capable of designing and constructing efficient CEA facilities," said Patrick Hidder, Principal, ARCO/Murray. “The RII team’s expertise, connections and commitment to CEA make them the perfect group to spearhead this important program. We look forward to working together to help move the CEA industry forward.”
CEA producers have an urgent need for more employees – and better trained employees – who are proficient in energy and water efficient practices. There is currently a lack of existing programs regionally and globally and those programs that do exist often lack industry-informed experience. In addition, there is a severe lack of apprenticeships and trade ally networks in CEA. The credentialing curriculum will address all of these critical needs.
“This climate-smart curriculum is an important piece in the development of a nationally coordinated credentialing system, though it is just the beginning,” Smith said. ”What will be needed next is the development of regional worker pipelines, and we have a huge opportunity to advance equitable outcomes as we strategically build the workforce to serve the CEA sector.”
For more information:
Resource Innovation Institute