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 Community Colleges Expand Commitment to Building a Green Workforce with Funding from the Kresge Foundation 

3/16/2011

AACC Receives $1.3 Million Dollar Grant for 2-Year Program Enhancing Green Jobs Training

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Norma Kent
202/728-0200, x209
nkent@aacc.nche.edu

WASHINGTON – A new $1.3 million dollar grant awarded to the Sustainability, Education and Economic Development (SEED) initiative at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) by The Kresge Foundation will expand green job training opportunities and innovations at community colleges.

SEED, with its focus on sustainability, education and economic development, helps community colleges initiate and expand green job training programs. Navigating the maze of industry job training certifications and linking their training programs with prospective employers are just a few of the steps colleges must take.

A host of innovative SEED activities will be launched under the two-year grant, from workshops to an awards program. The colleges will also benefit from the SEED Center, a free resource center and online sharing environment designed specifically for community college leaders, faculty, and staff.

The new grant builds on an earlier grant from Kresge that established the role of community colleges in building a successful long-term green economy initiative. The training services that community colleges offer provide a critical foundation for America’s rapidly-expanding green economy. Millions of clean energy and green economy workers will be needed as companies integrate green products, practices and services into almost every job to keep America financially competitive.

“The green economy is an unprecedented opportunity to grow America’s prosperity and create jobs,” said Walter G. Bumphus, president of AACC. “The grant from Kresge supports our growing commitment to training workers for jobs in green building, energy, transportation and manufacturing, as well as resource conservation. The community college sector is committed to educating students and the public about the overall importance of sustainable practices.”

With direct access to the nation’s 1,200 community colleges and network of faculty and experts, AACC is a tactical hub for the national green workforce movement. Since September 2010, more than 350 community college presidents in 42 states, representing nearly one-third of AACC’s member colleges, have signed pledges committing ongoing support for the SEED Center and its activities. 

Launched in October 2010 by AACC and ecoAmerica, the SEED Center includes more than 275 resources and practices curated by 50 subject matter experts and leverages external partnerships with organizations, educational institutions, and local and federal governments. More information about SEED is available at www.theseedcenter.org.

AACC’s new strategic plan for SEED, Community Colleges in The Emerging Green Economy: Charting a Course and Leadership Role, provides direction for the community college sector’s shared vision for creating a green economy and meeting the critical training needs that are part of the job creation equation.

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Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Community Colleges is the leading advocacy organization representing close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges nationwide. Community colleges are the largest sector of higher education, enrolling 12.4 million credit and non-credit students each year. To learn more about the AACC, visit www.aacc.nche.edu.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion, private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services, and community development. For more information, go to www.kresge.org.

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