News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

December 18, 2015

MANITOBA RENEWS PROGRAM FOCUSED ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY, ON-THE-JOB TRAINING IN BRANDON



BRANDON—The Manitoba government will renew the successful Brandon Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP), providing lower-income people with experience in the skilled trades while also making local buildings more environmentally friendly, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today.

“This unique program successfully combines many of Manitoba’s priorities, like energy conservation, creating job opportunities and investments in housing for lower-income people,” said Premier Selinger.  “Renewing BEEP for another four years will have many benefits for Brandon and the Westman region.”

A provincial investment of more than $4.3 million in BEEP over the next four years will help train 64 people in construction work including framing, siding, and energy and water conservation.  Trainees will receive some instruction in a classroom setting and gain on-the-job experience at construction, renovation and landscaping projects.

The project is managed by the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on housing, capacity-building, economic development and public safety in Brandon’s downtown.

“We are so proud of the BEEP program and our partnership with the province of Manitoba,” said Carly Gasparini, general manager, Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation.  “Eight program participants have advanced into our apprenticeship program, 45 found full-time, private-sector employment and 11 have chosen to pursue further education.  The carpentry training program is helping people reduce barriers to employment while gaining skills and knowledge to advance into the private sector – all while building and renovating affordable housing.  We are excited to continue the work with this new four-year commitment.”

Trainees will provide about 100 energy conservation retrofits for private homeowners in Brandon and surrounding communities.  They will also help complete a five-unit multiplex currently under construction on 11th Street to provide housing for people at risk of homelessness and build a new three-bedroom home for a lower-income family in the community.

“The Brandon Energy Efficiency Program is head and shoulders above any work-training program that we have ever been involved with in our community,” said Glen Kruck, regional manager, Canadian Mental Health Association – Westman.  “I am so impressed to see their hard-working trainees at our projects, often early in the morning and regardless of the weather.  The quality of their work is second to none.”

Since the program began, it has:

  • built four ‘Solutions to End Poverty Permanently’ houses for lower-income families;
  • updated and refreshed the exteriors of 25 government-owned duplexes;
  • updated and refreshed the interiors of eight homes owned by the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council Housing Authority; and
  • completed energy and/or water retrofits at 583 low-income units owned by the province, 494 privately owned apartment units and 45 privately owned, lower-income homes.

The retrofits are estimated to reduce water consumption by 40 per cent and energy use by 15 per cent for participating households, the premier noted.

The premier said the province’s decision to renew BEEP supports the goals of the Manitoba Social Enterprise Strategy, a partnership between government and community groups to create jobs for people facing barriers to employment, reduce poverty and promote social inclusion.

BEEP training will be available to people in Brandon and the surrounding communities who are unemployed or at risk of becoming unemployed.  Trainees who want to continue their education will be given the opportunity to upgrade math or literacy skills, and pursue apprenticeship opportunities.

 For more information about BEEP, visit www.bnrc.ca/programs/beep.

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