Over 350 schools join SEED Center; Will Create Sustainability Programs
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., January 26, 2011 – In just three short months, 355 community colleges have joined the Sustainability Education & Economic Development (SEED) Center, www.TheSEEDCenter.org, pledging leadership in green job training, and reaping the benefits. The SEED Center, launched in October 2010, is a leadership initiative, resource center, and sharing environment for community colleges, created by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and ecoAmerica, that provides strategic guidance and resources for schools to dramatically scale-up sustainability education and workforce training programs to provide students with the skills to join the new, green economy.
In addition to the plethora of free curricular resources, The SEED Center offers a powerful set of tools to enhance members’ sustainability program launch and implementation including guides, case studies, and hands-on training. AACC opened the 18th annual Workforce Development Institute (WDI) conference today with the first hands-on training, a special SEED Center workshop entitled “Building a Green Workforce: Charting a Green Course for Community Colleges.”
Marcy Drummond, vice president of workforce and economic development at Los Angeles Trade Technical College helped to conduct the workshop. “It’s exciting to provide colleges with technical assistance, helpful information such as job growth projections, and tactics for building key industry partnerships,” she said. “As a SEED Center member who has been involved in workforce development for a number of years, I am honored to share my experiences to help other colleges grow their clean energy and green economy programs.” The SEED Center workshop also helped colleges navigate the maze of industry certifications, tie green jobs to training programs, and learn about enhancing overall campus sustainability initiatives.
“Colleges got a lot out of today’s workshop, and left with action plans,” said fellow instructor, Roger Ebbage, Energy Management Instructor at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. “We were able to share our best practices in solar and wind power, alternative fuels, energy efficiency, and green building, which was helpful for our colleagues no matter if they had established programs or were just starting out.”
Other events at the Workforce Development Institute will feature a demonstration of the SEED Center and information on how to become involved.
Eight educators from SEED member community colleges received stipends from the AACC to attend WDI and the sustainability pre-conference. These schools included:
- Alfred State College
- Cape Cod Community College
- College of Lake County
- Des Moines Area Community College
- Kentucky Career and Technical System
- Lakeshore Technical College
- Mount Hood Community College
- Santa Fe Community College
Users of the free SEED center have access to resources in areas including renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building, and emerging technologies. Resources include curricula, training materials, industry projections and certifications, funding and partnership tools, and a robust online sharing environment (wiki, discussion boards) providing faculty a national community with which to share best practices and learnings.
“Community colleges are uniquely positioned to be leaders of the sustainability movement, focusing on local economic development and partnering with business and government to provide access to jobs,” said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, president of AACC. “The Workforce Development Institute brings practitioners together from colleges nationwide. We are pleased to offer them The SEED Center and its tools.”
About The SEED Center
The Sustainability Education & Economic Development (SEED) Center, launched 10/10/10, is a leadership initiative, resource center, and sharing environment created for community colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and ecoAmerica that provides strategic guidance and resources for colleges to dramatically scale sustainability education and workforce training programs to educate America’s 21st century workforce to compete in the green economy. www.theSEEDCenter.org
The SEED Center has received support from the Flora Family, Kresge, and Surdna Foundations and corporate partner Pearson Higher Education.
About the American Association of Community Colleges
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is a national organization representing the nation’s close to 1,200 community colleges and their more than 12 million students. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing segment of U.S. higher education. www.aacc.nche.edu
ecoAmerica is a non-profit that engages mainstream Americans in climate and environmental solutions with research, innovative partnerships and programs. www.ecoamerica.org