“Colorado's new energy economy is leading America toward a new energy future and Colorado's community colleges are leading the way…”
Green Advantage, Inc. and the Colorado Community College System have created a state wide industry-driven model to prepare and credential workers within the green building industry. Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has announced two new educational tools that will help prepare Colorado's clean energy workforce to meet the environmental and employment challenges ahead. Along with a green jobs handbook, Ritter announced 13 community colleges in the state will offer a Green Advantage Certification program beginning Fall 2009. The program will instruct the state’s community college students on the latest in green construction practices and technologies and offer a nationally respected and accepted credential through Green Advantage.
Governor Ritter states the program is expected to serve as a national template for how to prepare and credential workers. "Colorado's new energy economy is leading America toward a new energy future, and Colorado's community colleges are leading the way… This new certificate program and guidebook will serve as a national model as we provide students and the work force with the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need in order to succeed."
Nancy McCallin, President of the Colorado Community College System, expressed her excitement about the state being part of “such a cutting edge program” and her appreciation of the “community colleges' abilities to be flexible and responsive to the needs of businesses and work-force development." The Colorado Community College System represents 13 community colleges as well as career and technical programs serving over 118,000 students annually in more than 160 school districts. Their environmental technology programs experienced an 86% growth this past year alone.
Governor Ritter’s has stated his belief that an investment in higher efficiency building and low carbon-producing energy generation will lead to entirely new sectors of employment and reports that an estimated 600,000 jobs could be created over the next 20 years.
The Colorado initiative has been designed to:
Demonstrate the value of the Green Advantage Certification in aligning college programs with industry expectations.
Provide industry-recognized credentials for students who are future workers in green construction…and current employees choosing to increase their knowledge, capacity and credibility
Coordinate efforts to identify workforce and economic development change agents to improve regional labor markets.
Colorado State Rep. Andy Kerr stated the importance of Green Advantage Certification for both Colorado and his district. "We must be creative and find ways to be both environmentally and economically sustainable. Keeping Lakewood a leader means keeping our businesses and workforce trained and ready for these new opportunities."
About Green Advantage:
Launched in 1998, the Green Advantage Certification was created with support from the U.S. EPA, SAIC, the Nature Conservancy, and the University of Florida; Green Advantage® has come to be nationally and internationally respected as a pioneer in the green building sector. Individuals certified by Green Advantage® have passed the Green Advantage® Certification Exam, demonstrating knowledge of current green building principles, materials, and techniques. Commercial, Residential, and Commercial/Residential certifications are available, with a specific exam required for each. Because the green building field is rapidly changing, candidates must become recertified every three years in order to maintain Green Advantage Certification. For more information or to register for a Green Advantage Exam, visit www.greenadvantage.org.