Community colleges serve as the centers of educational opportunity, collectively providing millions of individuals – regardless of their wealth, cultural background or experience – an accessible place where they can gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful professionals.
As the economy continues to change, and as getting and maintaining a job is at the forefront of almost everyone’s mind, the role that community colleges play in educating a skilled workforce that can keep up with these changes and drive local sustainable economies is even more critical. Yet, as many colleges are facing shrinking budgets, limited resources and higher enrollments, choosing and providing the appropriate training and educational opportunities that can lead to jobs can become one challenge among many other competing priorities.
For these reasons, the Center for Green Schools has launched Community Green, a new program that engages and supports community colleges in educating the next generation of green building professionals. Through Community Green, USGBC is making a commitment to community colleges by offering a free first year of USGBC membership that will begin in Aug. 2012, which includes access to a wealth of resources and discounts that will help colleges become local leaders in green building education.
By 2013, green building will support nearly 8 million workers in a range of occupations from construction managers to cost estimators and truck drivers. In this changing economy, there will be quality jobs for available for professionals in a wide variety of trades and skill levels who can demonstrate at least a basic knowledge of green building and sustainability. Together, USGBC and community colleges can help educate a workforce that can drive local and sustainable economies.
Community colleges can get involved with Community Green now to show a commitment not only to sustainability, but also to the millions of students who have and will continue to rely on community college education for access to a promising future, regardless of where they came from in the past.