New Programs For Green Jobs

By: Jill Cordes
By: Jill Cordes

As companies around the country lay off workers, green energy jobs are on the rise. Now, colleges and universities are taking notice. Many are offering programs geared toward renewable energy degrees.

Oregon Institute of Technology is the first in the country to offer a four-year undergraduate program in renewable energy systems. Graduates will be trained as environmental compliance managers, environmental technicians and more.

Of course, the boom in green jobs isn't limited to work that takes a college degree. Electricians, roofers, and carpenters are all finding work constructing and modifying green buildings, and metal workers are needed to make wind turbines.

But even many of these positions do require further classroom time. Mesalands Community College in New Mexico is training workers to run wind farms. General Electric, one of the world's leading wind turbine suppliers, has promised to hire every Mesalands graduate for the next three years.

And beginning this fall, Colombia University in New York will launch a new masters program for cultivating future leaders in sustainable development. As the need for green collar workers rises, so will the number of programs to educate them.


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