Our investment in Stacks+Joules

Kate Buchanan Kate Buchanan July 14, 2022

2 min read

A new generation addressing
building carbon emissions

Building operations contribute roughly 27 percent of all global carbon emissions. And the problem is growing. Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to add 230 billion square meters of new building floor area every month. That’s a big increase in carbon emissions. 

But smart technologies and a skilled workforce can dramatically reduce this footprint. When professionals are well trained in cutting-edge technology, they can leverage complex building automation systems and sensors to increase efficiency and reduce wasted energy. This puts building automation professionals on the frontlines of the fight against climate change.  

Today’s building control jobs are not what they used to be. The advent of smart building and digital technologies has created a need for a new tech-savvy generation of facilities professionals. Buildings are becoming giant, interconnected, automated ecosystems of ever-changing hardware and software.  

Students need to be well-versed in the traditional hard skills, principles, and practices of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. But they also need to build on those legacy skill sets for the modern built environment. Without training and development opportunities, building tradespeople will not acquire the skills and qualifications needed to manage ever-more complex building systems. 

There is a dire need for workforce development programs that recruit, train, and retain a new generation of skilled workers.  

Why Stacks+Joules

We are pleased to announce our investment in Stacks+Joules and welcome them to our Work & Prosperity portfolio. Stacks+Joules is an early-stage nonprofit learning provider operating in New York City.  

Launched after years of testing hands-on curriculum and training programs in Los Angeles and Boston, co-founders Mike Conway and Jon Spooner, found a niche in addressing the building automation talent pipeline in New York City. Their unique approach focuses on recruiting and training historically underrepresented groups in the tech workforce—mostly women and people of color.  

Their goal is to provide experience using advanced technologies that will lead to quality jobs but require little to no barrier to entry for training. They’re demonstrating that the right training and support mastering advanced technologies, including coding and data analytics, can lead to fulfilling climate-friendly careers. 

Stacks+Joules’ instruction is informed by culturally relevant issues and climate justice-related issues, which serve as motivating factors for learners. Students learn by doing and are guided by industry experts that serve as mentors. Not only do they leave with industry-recognized certifications, but they spend time in class advising industry leaders on how to optimize building HVAC and lighting controls to save money and energy.  

Our collaboration to transform the building automation industry

Stacks+Joules’ solution is a disruptive approach to workforce development at the intersection of climate change and inequality. As the company scales its work, the Autodesk Foundation will tap into its resources and expertise in building automation and emerging technologies to enhance impact.  

The Autodesk Foundation looks forward to leveraging this collaboration to maintain and optimize buildings—and the workforce—of the future.  

Learn more about how Stacks+Joules is preparing the next generation of workers in building automation. 

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