USGBC Announces New Support for Community Colleges
Community Green participants get free USGBC membership to aid in educating the next generation of green building professionals
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Community Green, a program that aims to educate the next generation of green building professionals at community colleges, is offering one year of free U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) membership to assist college students, faculty and staff in integrating green building concepts into existing coursework through USGBC resources, direct support and LEED Professional credentialing opportunities. Close to 100 faculty and staff are already engaged in bringing green building activities to their campuses through this new program from the Center for Green Schools at USGBC.
The first-year goal of the Community Green program is to engage 1,200 faculty and staff at more than 300 colleges through USGBC membership. By having free access to USGBC’s robust education offerings, the program aims to assist more than 400 community college students in obtaining their LEED Green Associate credential. All U.S. community colleges have the opportunity to receive free membership by enrolling in the program and will receive resources and direct support for teaching green building coursework on campus.
Through generous support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the program will place five individuals in Texas, California, Illinois, Virginia and Washington to oversee the development, implementation, management and growth of this green building education and training activity. Bank of America will also cover the costs of LEED exam study materials and credentialing fees for students in these states. This will help focus programs to support the needs of local industries, improving student job prospects in these areas.
“Community Green doesn’t just present an issue, it presents solutions,” said Rachel Gutter, Director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “Through this program, we have a real opportunity to equip the next generation of students – regardless of their wealth, cultural background or experience – to become our future leaders. Through Community Green, we will give students the resources and skills they need to be pioneers of a sustainable workforce and the green economy.”
By 2013, green building will support nearly eight million workers in a range of occupations including construction managers, carpenters, truck drivers and cost estimators, among others. Community colleges are uniquely positioned to prepare professionals in a wide variety of skill levels for these quality careers that require at least a basic understanding of green building. Green building provides a solution that supports job creation, workforce transformation and economic recovery, and Community Green will be a driver of sustainable careers among community college graduates.
“Green jobs represent employment opportunities for millions of workers now and well into the future,” said Global Technology and Operations Executive and Bank of America Environmental Council Chair Catherine P. Bessant. “Our nation’s community colleges are arming graduates with valuable skills that are necessary for success in green building jobs in this growing economy. By supporting the Community Green program’s training activities and LEED credentialing for students in five states across the country, we’re playing a part in creating a workforce that is ready to take on the opportunities of a more sustainable future.”
The Center for Green Schools is how USGBC is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation. From the kindergartner entering the classroom, to the Ph.D. student performing research in a lab, the Center provides the resources and support to elevate dialogue, accelerate policy and institute innovation toward green schools and campuses. High-performing schools educate high-performing students, and the Center works directly with staff, teachers, faculty, students, administrators, elected officials and communities to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable places to live, learn, work and play. Visit centerforgreenschools.org for more information.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way across more than 100 markets around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create shared value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. Reaffirming a commitment to develop and sustain a culture of service, bank employee volunteers contributed more than 1.5 million hours in 2011 to enhance the quality of life in their communities worldwide. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.
U.S. Green Building Council
SOURCE U.S. Green Building Council