Notes from NASCSP 2010 in Charleston, SC
Posted by Jim Gunshinan on September 22, 2010
This is a meeting of the state managers of DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program and HHS' Community Services Block Grants Program. Fifty eight states and territories, including Saipan,U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam are here, represented by 350 people. The largest NASCSP ever.
The conference is a contrast to 2009, when ARRA was just passed. The Wx community is more mature, a little tired, more realistic, but still enthusiastic. Most of the people here were not here in 2008. Worries about succession among the old-timers (Bob Adams, Bob Scott, Joel Eisenberg, for example) are gone. Lots of committed young folk. Bob Adams said "Last time I knew 90% of the people here, now it is about 10%." And he was happy when he said it.
Focus this time is on reporting results so that the good of the programs are recognized. Need good press because there has been some bad press early on that keeps getting repeated. Not that the bad press wasn't true... Lots of growing pains having to do with Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws being applied to WAP for the first time, Historical Preservation Act requirements also applied to WAP for the first time, accelerated ramp-up, and new strenuous reporting requirements. End result so far is nearly 200,000 homes weatherized in 18 months through ARRA funding; about 30,000 homes per month. And a Weatherization Community that has shown incredible dedication and persistance. Weatherization is Working!
I am still struck by how many people of color are in this community at all levels from DOE managers to weatherization technicians.
And Charleston is fantastic! The history dating back to the 1600s; the architecture; the charm; the port and oceanfront; and the food that rivals that of any city in the United States. If you've never been, gotta get here sometime. Had seafood at "FIG" last and will have steak at The Chophouse with my brother Tommy coming down from Raleigh, NC for a visit tonight.
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