Part of a professional development strategy for climate-smart agriculture, curriculum will provide credentialing process to ensure an educated, effective and scalable CEA workforce.
PORTLAND, Ore. (May 17, 2023) — Resource Innovation Institute (RII), the leading not-for-profit energy and water benchmarking organization providing resource efficiency best practices for CEA producers, announced today it 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 leading 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.”
About Resource Innovation Institute: Resilient harvests for the next hundred years
Resource Innovation Institute is an objective, data-driven non-profit organization whose mission is to measure, verify and celebrate the world’s most efficient agricultural ideas. We cultivate a better future for all of humanity with our vision of resilient harvests for the next hundred years. Our consortium of members brings perspectives from across the field—uniting architects and engineers, growers and operators, researchers and analysts. Founded in 2016 to advise governments, utilities and industry leaders on the resource impacts of indoor cultivation, an under-studied and resource-intensive market, we have since extended our research to other sectors in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture. To take on the challenges of our changing world, we believe that food, medicine and other vital crops demand data-driven insights, securely shared with integrity. By nurturing the human connections in our complex and dynamic industry, we can build deeply restorative systems for people and the planet. Visit the website at ResourceInnovation.org.
ARCO/Murray is a single source national design and construction firm specializing in commercial construction and real estate needs for Fortune 500 companies and individual businesses. From planning to execution, our expert team uses the most advanced design-build methodology to deliver the very best client experience. Dedicated to understanding our clients’ businesses, we provide services that go beyond the scope of construction, including expanding our clients’ concepts nationally. To learn more about ARCO/Murray, visit www.arcomurray.com.