Based in: Eugene, Oregon
Lane Community College has offered an energy management certification program since the 1980s -- "way before it was hip to be green," says college president Mary Spilde.
The school is home to the Northwest Energy Education Institute, which retrains workers in fields like water conservation and building energy management.
Spilde says that, while the labor environment remains challenging, the school is "trying to prepare students to be on the front lines of getting new jobs."
Case in point: South Korean company Uni-Chem recently announced that it will convert a closed semiconductor plant in Oregon into a factory that will make solar cells and modules. Spilde, who is on the local economic development board, says she's already planning on creating a solar training program once more details emerge.
"When an employer comes," she says, "we're going to gear up to make sure we can train and educate the workforce for that need."
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