America’s Community Colleges Unite to Train Students for Jobs in the Green Economy

Posted by Thao Nelson - On October 11, 2010 (EST)

Editor's Note:  Meet Todd Cohen, our newest blogger, from Sustainability Initiatives, American Association of Community Colleges.

Given their role in building a flexible workforce, in preparing students for long-term career options, and their strong ties to business and industry, community colleges are positioned to be at the very heart of this new green economy movement. Hundreds of our colleges are already training workers for careers in areas such as energy management, renewable energy production, and green building; and many others perform extensive community outreach to educate local businesses and the general public about the importance of sustainability practices as a means for building the industry itself.

However, there is no question that more can be done at a national level to directly support colleges in ramping up quality green workforce development programs.

Introducing The SEED Center (www.theSEEDcenter.org ), a leadership initiative, free resource center, and online sharing environment for community colleges.

The SEED Center (Sustainability Education and Economy Development)–officially launching October 10th—is a landmark effort by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and ecoAmerica to empower the nation’s 1,200 two-year colleges in the critical task of preparing an educated workforce with the skills needed to succeed in sustainable, clean tech and other green economy jobs.

SEED offers promising practices, curriculum resources, industry and employment information, and much more, with additional resource support for program implementation and faculty development, all for free (and all expertly curated by a Technical Advisory Group of leading industry, government, and higher education green experts). An online sharing environment, including discussion boards and a wiki, provides the opportunity for faculty to share practices, ultimately contributing to the continual growth and refinement of the resources offered.

The focus of the Web site is currently on five industry sectors: solar, wind, energy efficiency, green building and sustainable education. Future plans include a look at sustainable agriculture, geothermal, smart grid technology, resource conservation, and alternative fuels – industries we know are important to colleges and workforce boards across the country.

As many of you know, there is a vast, unsorted amount of information on green jobs and training practices out there, and SEED aims to cut through the clutter to make sense of it for colleges and training providers.

More than 300 community college presidents - over one third of the AACC members - have already signed on to the initiative, far ahead of expectations for this stage of the program’s development.

Given the overlap of our audience and DOL/ETA’s stakeholders, the SEED Center is designed to work in conjunction with the Workforce3one Web site’s Green Community of Practice. We will work hard to share resources and information between the two.

We urge you to explore the free SEED Center, although the Web site is only a foundation. AACC will continue to support colleges in integrating green concepts into workforce training, continuing education, and technical programs, preparing students to compete in this industry.  We believe that community colleges will not only be central in providing a skilled workforce but will be out front in working with businesses to create the jobs themselves.

Todd Cohen




User Comments (2)
On August 02, 2011  wendy ardagna said:
SEED has interviewed Community College of Philadelphia for an article to highlight our Green Jobs training through Pathways out of Poverty grant, our new sustainable campus in the Northeast of Philadelphia and and our new credit bearing certificates and programs for "sustainable" careers! Wendy Ardagna


On August 02, 2011  wendy ardagna said:
SEED has interviewed Community College of Philadelphia for an article to highlight our Green Jobs training through Pathways out of Poverty grant, our new sustainable campus in the Northeast of Philadelphia and and our new credit bearing certificates and programs for "sustainable" careers! Wendy Ardagna



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Modified On : October 11, 2010
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