Community colleges are poised to play a major role in the emerging green economy. With Recovery Act funding helping some community colleges develop weatherization and energy efficiency training programs, community college administrators are focusing on all things green. Yesterday, forward-thinking community colleges in California were recognized as part of the 2010 Green California Community College Leadership Awards announcement.

Awards were granted in five categories. Citrus College in Glendora received the Green Campus awards thanks to its on-campus sustainability programs. The school has also focused on reducing its energy use, green building, waste reduction and environmental education.

The Instructor Award was given to Dr. Yuet-Ling O’Connor, environmental sciences instructor at Pasadena City College. O’Connor is also chair of the green team and helps provide eco-inspiration to students, faculty and community members.

The third award was given to Franz Rulofson at College of the Redwoods. Rulofson received the Curriculum award for his nine-year dedication to developing the school’s agriculture laboratory facilities, which includes a certified organic farm.

Jose Nunez with the San Mateo Community College District received the Pioneer Award for his work in advancing the schools sustainability program. As vice chancellor of facilities planning, maintenance and operations, Nunez helped develop sustainable strategies for campus buildings. This sustainable approach to building helped the school reduce its energy costs.

The final award announced is the Industry Award, which was granted to the California Community College – Investor-Owned Utility (CCC-IOU) Energy Efficiency Partnership. The organization partners with community colleges and utility companies to help create and implement energy efficiency strategies.

The official awards ceremony will take place on Oct. 12 at the Pasadena Convention Center during the Community College Summit. The theme for this year’s summit is Building Gateways to the Green Economy. Conference attendees will learn how to advance their school’s green economy offerings including a daylong pre-summit workshop dedicated to developing a green curriculum.

Other topics scheduled to be covered during the summit fall under four main categories:

  • Financing/Funding
  • Green Building
  • Green Workforce
  • Discussion Groups
Workshops on federal stimulus dollars for community colleges to a group discussion on solar projects will be offered during the conference. For more information about the event, visit the Green California Community College Summit website.

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