More Sustainability Coming to Community Colleges Nationwide

More Sustainability Coming to Community Colleges Nationwide
Learn about new sustainability programs designed to educate students on green industries and how students can use those studies to build successful, “green” careers.

Going green” has become a mantra for institutions of higher education across the country, particularly community colleges dedicated to training a new generation of workers in industries that need them most. Since much of today’s technology and industry are beginning to revolve around sustainability, raising awareness and providing training in green industries will benefit graduating students and communities and businesses. We have a few examples of community college campuses that are taking green education to the next level.

Danville Area Community College Adding Green Curriculum

Illinois will be seeing more workers trained for green jobs as Danville Area Community College established a new curriculum that emphasizes sustainability and energy efficiency. According to a report at the Commercial-News, the college has received a portion of a three-year $19.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Initiative and the Illinois Green Economy Network. In addition, the DACC board recently voted to enter into an agreement between the school and the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) in order to participate in energy-saving projects with the organization.

“It all evolves around dislocated workers and training them for green jobs,” Bruce Rape, Dean of Business and Technology for DACC, told the Commercial-News. Rape described the new hybrid programs in manufacturing and wind energy technology as examples of this partnership that will bring more trained workers into green industries throughout the state. These programs will be done in partnership with Highland Community College and will incorporate both online and hands-on training into the curriculum.

“We’re going to put some of our wind energy classes online,” Rape explained. “That’s why we’re calling it a hybrid because they would still have to do hands-on training.”

Sustainability Training in Hospitality Coming to Kansas School

Johnson County Community College has also received funding from the EnergyWorks KC Green Jobs Workforce Development grant from the Mid-America Regional Council to expand green training into the school’s hospitality program. The money will be used to establish a sustainability hospitality internship option for students in the hospitality program at the school, according to a report at Gardener Edge.

Students participating in the internship will receive training in saving energy and water, as well as reducing waste and pollution, as it directly relates to the hospitality industry. They will use their training to help hotel and restaurant owners in the community find cost-saving, environmentally-friendly procedures to implement in their own operations. Students will also check back with the businesses after procedures are well established to calculate cost savings for business owners.

“This is a great opportunity for both our students and the industry,” Lindy Robinson, JCCC dean, told Gardener Edge. “It is so important that we start getting serious about measures that help the environment with the benefit of saving money for the restaurateurs and hoteliers.”

Salem Community College to Offer Green Classes this Spring

New Jersey residents will have the opportunity to learn more about sustainable living and degree programs available through Salem Community College. The school will be hosting an assortment of classes this spring, including “Solar Photovoltaic Electric Systems” and “Building Energy Audit Technology.” In addition, the college will provide informational sessions on its sustainable energy programs for potential students. According to, the classes will all be held at the Sustainable Energy Center of the Salem campus.

Sustainability Grant Coming to New York College

Westchester Community College in New York is another school that has received funding for sustainability training. According to, the community college was awarded $25,000 by Con Edison in order to expand the Con Edison Green Faculty Learning Community. The money will be used to incorporate additional sustainability training throughout the college curriculum, including additional library resources, guest speakers, and peer-to-peer learning.

Westchester Community College is truly our community’s college and is a leader in education regarding various aspects of sustainability,” Marc Huestis, vice president of construction at Con Edison, told “We are excited about this important project and are pleased that we are able to continue our support.”

St. Louis College Offering Additional Sustainability Courses

To support the growing industry of sustainable building technology, St. Louis Community College has announced the addition of a number of sustainability courses for their upcoming semester. According to the St. Louis American, these new courses are funded through the Training for Tomorrow grand initiative and will offer a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills to prepare students for work in sustainable building technology. An informational meeting will be held for students interested in the courses, and evening classes will begin on January 17.

Sustainable energy technology courses will introduce students to the importance of energy efficiency in the building industry. These courses are appropriate both for students looking for entry-level positions within the sustainable building industry and those already working in the field that want to enhance their skills and knowledge. Sustainable construction courses teach students how to incorporate sustainability principles into all aspects of the construction process. These classes are also beneficial to those entering the workforce for the first time or those in related jobs who want to hone their skills.

Sustainability is the new environmental buzzword for the 21st century, and community colleges are leading the pack in training students for sustainability careers of all kinds. From building construction to energy alternatives, these schools are preparing students for a wide range of jobs that are predicted to be in high demand now and well into the future.

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