NSCC Institutes Two-Year “Green-Collar” Degree

NWF   |   May 23, 2008

    As the possibility of carbon-capping legislation becomes more likely and investments in renewable energy increase, the demand for "green-collar" workers will rise. All three presidential candidates endorse the creation of green jobs, and the RAND corporation recently estimated that as many as five million new jobs could be created by producing 25% of energy in America from renewable sources. North America — and the rest of the world– will need architects trained in green building, engineers who can create better transportation and rail infrastructure, energy experts who can work with geologists and atmospheric scientists to generate renewables, and agriculturists who can use land more effectively to support our communities with the least possible impact on ecosystems.

    To cope with these demands, schools like Nova Scotia Community College (a Canadian college encompassing 13 campuses) are instituting programs designed to "master the art of creating customized
energy systems that include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, tidal and
alternative renewable sources." NSCC’s Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology program (ESET) is quite a mouthful, but will go a long way towards training graduates in green practices. Designed for working tradesmen that now need additional skills, the two-year program will qualify graduates to audit energy systems and recommend the best alternative energy sources for new or existing properties. Green buildings
on the NSCC campus (currently pending LEED-certification) will give students the chance to see sustainable building practices in action.

So often, discussions of sustainability restrict themselves to liberal arts classrooms and recycling clubs, so we’re excited to see real-world training being offered at trade schools and community colleges.

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Published: May 23, 2008