Letter to the editor: Immigration and weatherization – a perfect pairing?
Bill Schubart’s Sept. 16 guest editorial on “sensible immigration policy” and VPR’s recent series on immigration have gotten me thinking about how much sense it could make to bring needed workers to Vermont to help us address a pressing problem — weatherization.
Vermont has a goal of achieving 90 percent renewable energy by 2050. Part of meeting this goal necessitates weatherizing at least 90,000 more Vermont buildings (according to the Energy Action Network). However, at the current rate of less than 2,000 homes per year, we’ll miss this goal by at least 15 years.
At the same time, the number-one issue for home performance contractors is finding workers willing to crawl through attics and basements to air-seal and insulate our old buildings. How smart would we be to bring hard-working immigrants to Vermont, train them to fix our old buildings, address the weatherization worker shortage and make progress towards our climate goals all at the same time?
Let’s hope for a more enlightened federal administration in 2020 and start planning for a perfect pairing of immigration and weatherization.