Community Colleges are Mapping the Future

Oct 06, 2010, 14:19 ET from Green Technology

Obama's Vision Begins in California

PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Next week, leaders from California's community colleges, and their partners in creating a pathway to the green economy, will be converging in Pasadena at the Green California Community Colleges Summit. The event will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center on October 12 and 13, with pre-summit workshops on October 11.

California's community college system, the largest in the country, is critical to attaining the revitalization and re-defining of these institutions articulated by President Obama yesterday at his community college summit.

"The need for new energy sources, the urgent need to address climate change, the enthusiasm of investors for 'green technology' and the increasing focus on sustainability at all levels of California government all have great significance for community colleges," said Commissioner Timothy A. Simon of the California Public Utilities Commission, a co-chair of the Summit.

"These institutions truly are gateways to the green economy," said Simon, "and the steps they take with their facilities and curriculum over the coming years can have tremendous impact."

Community colleges are largely responsible for green career training, and the Pasadena Summit is focused on helping them develop effective programs. This includes courses that fulfill the evolving needs of green businesses, campuses acting as test beds for new technologies and buildings retrofitted to save energy and money.

Funding is a critical issue, and workshops and concurrent sessions will provide insight into current sources. For example, a pre-Summit workshop on "Financing Green Building Projects," moderated by the law firm of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, will include at least a dozen presenters representing banks, renewable energy consultants, government agencies and others expert in bond financing, contracts, regulatory issues and choosing appropriate renewable energy projects.

"Developing and Implementing Successful Energy Conservation and Generation Projects in Challenging Times," another full-day workshop, will bring together public and private sector experts in law, finance, energy and educational facilities. Presenters include members of the team behind the nation's largest college-based solar power installation.

A full range of concurrent sessions on October 12 and 13 will address funding issues, sustainable building, solar power, green purchasing and more. Representatives from workforce investment boards, instructors at community colleges, industry and others will present strategies for creating curriculum that can prepare students for existing and emerging green jobs.

For information on the Summit or to register, go to or call 626-577-5700.

SOURCE Green Technology