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Community Colleges Link Up to Train Students for Green Jobs

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To meet the growing demand for workers in the green economy, the American Association of Community Colleges and ecoAmerica have started an initiative to implement green training programs for the 1,200 community colleges across the country.

The initiative, called Sustainability Education and Economy Development, launched an online learning center this week to be a resource for community colleges to share information about curriculum, employment, and faculty development.  The database also includes some case studies from community colleges, including windpower technician training at Columbia Gorge Community College in Oregon that led to a 92 percent placement rate after students graduated.

More than 300 community college presidents have already signed on to the initiative, which was officially launched at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in Denver.

“There is a vast amount of information on green jobs training out there, but SEED cuts through the clutter and brings together the best resources, providing them for free to all community colleges,” said Amy Golden, executive director at ecoAmerica, a nonprofit organization that partnered with the AACC to create The SEED Center. “Until now there hasn’t been a nationally available network or resources to connect schools with advanced programs with schools still developing their curricula. The SEED Center will fill that important void.”

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