Tim Landis is one of the best writers left on the State Journal Registers staff. This Green Center will be a boon to the Springfield community.
LLCC programs offer free training in ‘green’ industry
Lincoln Land Community College expects to begin training about two dozen students for “green” jobs early next year through two pilot programs made possible by $600,000 in federal training grants.
The Renewable Energy Academy and the Green Construction Academy will provide intensive training — classes are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday — for jobs in renewable energy and energy-efficient building.
“We are looking at a lot of new skills and jobs that have not been there in the past,” Julie Rourke, LLCC director of workforce development, said Thursday.
The renewable-energy classes are scheduled to begin Jan. 9 and the classes in green construction on Feb. 13. Both continue into mid-June.
Rourke said the school hopes to enroll 15 students in renewable energy and 12 in green construction. There will be no cost to the first group of students, because the federal grants are paying for the expense of setting up the program, including equipment.
But she said the four-days-a-week schedule will take a strong commitment.
“It’s set up that way for a reason. One is the grant period,” said Rourke. “The other is that we expect a lot of non-traditional students who may be transitioning from one career to another, and there’s an urgency to get them back in the work force.”
The grants, $350,000 from the U.S. Department of Education and $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor, were awarded through the LLCC HIRE Education program. The goal is to make the classes self-sustaining once the grants expire at the end of 2012.
LLCC Green Center manager Julie Bates said classes will cover a variety of renewable-energy and energy-efficiency skills, including solar, small wind systems, geothermal, green construction, plumbing and heating, landscaping and site planning.