SEED Resource Center is a curated collection of information to help educators develop and advance quality green job training programs and courses.
See resource references for bibliographic data.
The Sustainable Ag., Food & Land sector covers the areas of organic farming, horticulture, culinary arts, and landscaping. This sector includes organizations and resources that integrate environmental, social and economic factors into land use, food preparation, and land specific practices in an attempt to create a more sustainable future.
The Transportation & Fuels sector covers the area of electric and hybrid vehicle development and maintenance, other forms of alternative and sustainable transportation, natural gas, fuel cells, battery storage, and renewable fuels sources including ethanol, biodiesel, algae, and methane.
The General Clean Tech sector is a space for resources that encompass multiple sectors. Many are applicable to the broader green economy and clean technology and will serve the general clean tech community. This allows our members a more streamlined user experience across the board, where they are able isolate resources in our sector specific topics and then utilize general sector when searching for cross-cutting information.
Resources also provide valuable information on sectors that are experiencing substantive development in the sustainability realm, like manufacturing and smart grid. Although manufacturing represented only 10.8 percent of total private employment in 2012, it accounted for 20.4 percent of green jobs (1). World smart grid sales climbed to $36.5 billion at installed prices in 2012 -- a growth of 30% on 2011 (2). In addition, as our utility grids get “smarter,” smart grid education and training will be an important component of colleges’ energy, HVAC, construction, electric, and other technology programs. Given this increase in activity of the sustainability economy, this section serves as a hub for those resources experiencing substantial growth.
The resources found in the General Clean Tech sector provide a lens for the larger picture of the clean economy. Users will find information from federal agencies like the Department of Energy and will also find documents and resources to help build their general training and education programs in these areas.
Sustainability education refers generally to learning experiences that enable students to develop the knowledge, behaviors, and skills to help create healthier ecosystems, social systems, and economies. For the purposes of the SEED Center, this includes resources to help build non-credit continuing education for the incumbent workforce and integrating sustainability curriculum into existing credit programs.
While a focus for building a green workforce is on career and technical training for direct renewable energy and energy efficiency occupations, community colleges provide high--quality education for students in all walks of life. The resources found here in “Sustainability Education” will help colleges build a more comprehensive education and training system designed to infuse sustainability principles throughout curriculum. Resources from organizations and networks such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability play prominently in this section.
These resources and materials have been vetted by industry and education experts, and while not in the form of specific educator tools, will assist in creating quality curricula for your classroom. You will find more specific educator tools (e.g. syllabi, lab manuals, lesson plans, special classroom projects, equipment lists, etc.) submitted by SEED member colleges in our Curricular Materials Sharing Portal.
Several organizations, including the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy, have made great strides in collecting and cataloguing green sector curricular materials from training providers nation-wide. In addition, national industry groups such as the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. Green Building Council, and others have unveiled, or soon will release, their approved curricula and supporting materials which will be captured here.
Certainly, one of the biggest challenges facing green educators is the rapid and mainly uncoordinated emergence of green certifications and credentials.
While information and agreed-upon training requirements exist for some national certifications (e.g. NABCEP for PV and solar thermal installation, and LEED for green building) many sectors and occupations within the green industry are currently not covered, are covered by overlapping credentialing, or have certifications and standards under development. As colleges seek to design curricula to prepare students for portable industry certifications across both renewable and energy efficiency careers, the following resources should help.
In addition to links to specific certification descriptions, other important resources are included, such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center on Wisconsin Strategy report that lays out a framework for national policy actions are included.
While job training providers in recent years providers have been quite actively working with local industry to define the emerging green jobs market and potential job growth areas, most of them still struggle to accurately forecast regional occupational demand. The U.S. Department of Labor has made recent strides toward classifying green occupations and competencies which will help communities define and track green jobs (and help colleges design appropriate education and training programs). Given the uncertain renewable energy and efficiency industry outlook, and rapidly changing technologies, access to the most up-to-date industry studies and employment projections will be critical.
This section highlights a number of excellent national reports quantifying industry and/or employment growth across the green sector. In addition, some state and regional reports have also been included when it was determined that their methodologies and data could be easily adapted and used in other regions.
The job creation potential of the green economy has led to some unique job training and economic development partnerships and collaborations.
Community colleges are partnering with:
In this section you will find reports or write-ups of unique educational, community development and/or workforce development programs (which may or may not be focused on community colleges).
This section includes lists and assessments of skill sets and competencies tied to the green economy – across the broad industry as well as within specific sectors. It also includes some critical resources that colleges can use to align programs and facilitate student transitions. Included are green energy competency models and newly-developed career pathways that allow movement across educational and training programs.
Several key resources, including IREC’s Best Practices and Recommended Guidelines, provide comprehensive training guidelines, criteria, and task analyses.
This section includes promising facilitated learning opportunities, including “train the trainer” programs, standing conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice for faculty and staff seeking to further their knowledge of industry trends and requirements. Also highlighted here are toolkits and other material developed through various professional development programs directed at faculty or staff.
As opportunities, including training materials, peer networks, and other events are announced, they will be captured in the SEED Center.
Here you will find links and descriptions of standing agencies and organizations that typically fund sustainability and green job training initiatives as well as those that provide important information on national legislation and policies relevant to the clean evergy sector. Specific funding announcements will be captured on the home page and in the SEED newsletter, although the list may not be comprehensive.