"The college makes it a priority ...
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"The college makes it a priority to look toward the future, at where job growth will be, and it was clear a lot of trained workers were and will be needed for the green technology sector," said Carmen Aguilar, dean of the Center for Workforce and Community Education at BCC in Fall River.
"BCC is one of the first colleges in the area to offer options for weatherization skills, solar installation expertise and wind power expertise."
In addition, students can become professionals in areas like air-sealing or how to "green" a business.
A 78-hour course teaches how to install air-sealing technology and install insulation to reduce a building's heating and cooling needs.
Several courses and programs also teach those with more entrepreneurial intentions how to start or revamp an existing business with the variety of new technologies available.
In addition to the burgeoning business sector concerned with reducing lost energy, platoons of professionals specializing in green energy technology are needed as well, said Aguilar.
A certificate in solar installation takes roughly 60 to 80 hours, and a full-credit program of study takes roughly one year.
BCC also offers both a certificate and degree in wind power technology comparable in duration to the solar technology programs at its New Bedford location.
And for those interested in the weatherization profession, there's both a certification program and a two-year associate's degree.
"We also have many noncredit courses that people interested in learning more for non-professional reasons can take," said Aguilar.
"A lot of people want to know about installing solar for their home or business or simply just what they can do to reduce energy use."
The Green Center, founded in 2010, is a huge step forward in the school's commitment to green initiatives, which Aguilar said has been a serious effort undertaken by the entire BCC community.
Years before the Green Center was even being planned, BCC implemented policies aimed at a greener existence from the administrative level usage of resources to building construction.
The center's funding sources include local, state, and federal money, including grants from the Clean Energy Initiative and the National Science Foundation.
"We're very grateful we've been given such great support to start these programs," said Aguilar, "and the college plans to keep furthering its commitment to greener initiatives."