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.


Transportation systems have significant impacts on the environment, accounting for between 20% and 25% of world energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Sustainable transportation refers to low- and zero-emission, energy-efficient, affordable modes of transport, including electric and alternative-fuel vehicles, as well as domestic fuels. Sustainable transport systems make a positive contribution to the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of communities by:
  • Reducing carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, resulting in less air pollution.
  • Creating jobs in electric and hybrid vehicles, battery manufacturing, and alternative fuel production.
  • Improving accessibility to reliable, affordable transportation options for all Americans.
  • Increasing energy security and independence with less reliance on foreign sources of materials and fuels.
There is a growing need for professionals who plan, design, build and repair transportation systems and energy-efficient vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and all-electric vehicles use electricity to improve vehicle efficiency. According to the July 3, 2023 United States Energy and Employment Report (USSEER):
  • The number of jobs in battery powered electric vehicles increased by 28,366 (+27%) from 2021 to 2022, the fastest energy technology growth.
  • The growth in battery electric vehicles was almost 17 times faster than the increase in gasoline and diesel vehicle employment.
  • Clean vehicles accounted for 59% of all net new jobs in motor vehicles.
  • Other technologies with double-digit growth include hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (25%), natural gas vehicles (14%), and plug-in hybrid vehicles (10%).

Community Colleges and Transportation

EV Car or Electric car at charging station with the power cable supply plugged in on blurred nature with soft light background. Eco-friendly alternative energy conceptCommunity colleges can play an important role in making transportation cleaner and more efficient.
  • Modify degree and certificate programs that lead to traditional careers in automotive technology and diesel technology to integrate and infuse hybrid, hydrogen, and electric vehicle technology.
  • Green their fleets with electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Install EV charging stations and give students and faculty who drive an electric vehicle parking priority.
  • Work with local authorities to create incentives for students, faculty, and staff to encourage the use of public transportation and other emissions-reducing transportation options.