Workforce training in North Carolina is getting a “green” makeover. More than 200 educators and community college leaders from across the state gathered at Wake Technical Community College for a two-day meeting in late August to launch the Code Green Super CIP (Curriculum Improvement Project).
The goal of the two-year project is to provide relevant, timely training for those entering today’s more environmentally focused workplace by integrating sustainability concepts and skills into every area of colleges’ technical education curriculum. The five areas of focus are building, energy, transportation, environment and engineering technology.
Like other states, North Carolina’s economy has shifted to include more sustainable products, practices, and technologies than ever before. Job and career opportunities abound in areas such as mass transit, wind and solar power exploration, as well as construction and retrofitting for greater energy efficiency, but training must also be top quality and up to date. The Code Green Super CIP will explore the best ways to provide that training as well as the highly specialized credentials a greener workplace will demand.
The State Board of Community Colleges approved funding for the Super CIP in May and designated Wake Tech as lead college for the project. Each of the five focus areas also has a lead college: Blue Ridge Community College, Transportation CIP; Central Carolina Community College, Energy CIP; Central Piedmont Community College, Engineering CIP; Davidson County Community College, Environment CIP; and Wilson Community College, Building CIP. Funding for the Super CIP is provided by State Board of Community College Reserve Funds, Golden LEAF Foundation and Duke Energy's Community and Technical College Grant Program.
Talecris Biotherapeutics, a biotech manufacturing industry in Johnston County has been partnering with Johnston Community College (JCC) to provide turnaround training to the nearly 600 employees every 18 to 24 months.
This training takes place when the plant halts production for scheduled maintenance of equipment.
Bill Cooper and Greg Smith, of the Bioprocessing Center (BioNetwork), have assisted JCC with the creation of course material such as Downstream Processing and also BioBurden (customized unit from Bioprocessing in the Workplace curricula).
Currently the Bioprocessing Center is working with JCC to customize a course in Nanofiltration to be taught at the next turnaround training session. This course will benefit more than 250 of Talecris’s employees. The Bioprocessing Center has also provided many pieces of equipment, during turnaround training, to assist in training the large number of employees.
Mobile Launch Pad for Critical Careers is a mobile
laboratory that visits communities across North Carolina and allows middle school, high school and community college students and the public the opportunity to learn about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Visiting career fairs, community college programs and community events, visitors learn about educational paths to careers in Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, Green Energy/Technology, Health Care and Life Sciences.
Created by the NC Community Colleges and supported by Duke Energy's Community and Technical College Grant Program to provide education and career information for STEM fields, The Mobile Launch Pad has completed its first full year of community outreach.
Within the Mobile Launch Pad (a 40-foot mobile laboratory/classroom) are stations with hands-on equipment used in industry, information about education and careers, and training games and videos and demonstrations of specific careers in STEM fields. This mobile interactive classroom is a place where individuals can visit, explore specific interests and leave feeling better about the path to their professional future.
Constantly updating its technology and growing its resources based on the questions, suggestions and information needs of its visitors, the Mobile Launch Pad will continue to be a vital, exciting and important part of the NC Community Colleges promotion and outreach program.
This summer, the Mobile Launch Pad was at the Western N.C. State Fair and more than 4,000 people went through the bus. In addition, the response from more than 6,000 people who visited the Mobile Launch Pad in 2009 was hugely positive, as was their recommendations and request for more similar educational programs.
To learn more or schedule a visit, contact Lisa Richman at (919) 515-0229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.