In the latest issue of ACTE’s Techniques Magazine, Gloria Mwase and Julian Keniry describe the Greenforce Initiative, a collaboration of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Jobs for the Future (JFF) to assist community colleges in providing effective green programs and producing a green workforce. A 2009 study shows that jobs related to clean energy grew twice as fast as overall jobs between 1998 and 2007. By implementing green programs, community colleges can help students acquire the skills needed to fill these emerging positions. The Greenforce Initiative will supply additional resources, strategies, and best practices to select community colleges in six regions (or “Learning and Action Networks”): Northern Virginia, South Texas, Metro Chicago, Michigan, North Carolina, and Seattle. The goals of the Greenforce Initiative are:
- To strengthen the capacity of colleges to develop, expand or refine green pathway programs that lead to postsecondary certificates or degrees
- To create employment in family-sustaining green careers
The authors stress the vital role of green CTE programs and graduates to aid in the nation’s economic recovery and develop alternative energy sources. If all goes according to plan, the Greenforce Initiative’s Learning and Action Networks will become prototypes to be emulated and expanded upon by other green-minded institutions.