An initiative of the National Council for Workforce Education, the Sustainability Education and Economic Development Center (SEED) supports community colleges and their partners with curriculum and resources to transform educational programs for a sustainable future.


The Sustainability, Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center is a FREE initiative offered by the National Council for Workforce Education. The SEED Center aims to advance sustainability and clean technology education programs at community and technical colleges by sharing innovative practices and resources to help college administrators, faculty, and staff meet the changing demands of the clean economy. The Center is managed by a team of higher education experts who review and curate SEED resources and curriculum.

Curriculum and Resources

The SEED Center offers access to resources and curriculum materials in numerous subject areas including renewable energy, alternative energies, agriculture and food production, green building construction, building performance, transportation, general sustainability, and more. The SEED Center is designed to provide the information and national coordination needed to advance the development of workforce education programs to support the clean technology economy and promote sustainability to a new generation of green workforce development leaders. SEED offers:

  • Curriculum developed by the National Green Jobs Advisory Council – a Lumina funded grant project to strengthen the role of community and technical colleges in responding to proposed federal infrastructure funding and the workforce needs to support the emerging green economy.
  • With an eye on equity and economic justice, SEED provides resources to develop and facilitate the processes and assistance necessary to build a skilled and inclusive green infrastructure workforce.
  • Open Educational Resources to support colleges in developing programs.
  • Over 400 green resources including detailed guides, tools, and promising practices all curated by industry and higher education experts.

Why Community Colleges and Sustainability

Community and technical colleges connect with tens of millions of learners who will be the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.
Graphic depicting the number of public community and technical colleges

Graphic depicting the student demographics 55% students of color, 45% caucasian and 30% first generation


Explicit in the community college mission is a commitment to sustainability—building healthy and economically viable communities by preparing students for lifelong learning opportunities. Thus, community and technical colleges are an essential vehicle for advancing the green economy by providing green education and promoting sustainability to a new generation of leaders.

In 2022, the passage of two bills in focused on the environment, infrastructure, and climate, the clean energy and green economy present an unprecedented opportunity to grow American prosperity. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJC) includes investments for clean energy and electric grid upgrades, electric vehicles and energy charging stations, and other alternative energy resource development. The Inflation Reduction Act includes investments for climate and clean energy measures and incentives for the commercial development of carbon sequestration technologies. While these billions of dollars stand to be generated and saved using energy and other resources more wisely, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created to support these initiatives and new technologies.

Given the community college role in building a flexible workforce, our work to prepare students for long-term career options, our direct ties to industry, and our commitment to building healthy communities, community and technical colleges are an essential vehicle for advancing the clean technology economy and promoting sustainability to a new generation of leaders.