By Lauren Craig
Veterans and Native Americans in New Mexico, two groups especially hard hit by the struggling economy, could see their opportunities improve with a new green jobs program coming to the state. U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) announced Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) was getting $300,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to teach job skills to unemployed vets and Native Americans and prepare them for work in environmental fields.
The program spans the clean energy spectrum, including solid waste management, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, hazardous waste operations, emergency response and underground storage-tank leak prevention, construction and demolition. The school’s recruits will be placed in environmental jobs in the area following 180 hours of training.
To accommodate the new programs, the school has established a Sustainable Technologies Center in its new Trades and Advanced Technology Center, which opened in May. The center will integrate traditional trade school workforce training with advanced technologies and “green” curricula to prepare its graduates to work in a “sustainability economy”.
The academic programs of the Sustainable Technologies Center are part of SFCC’s goal to “green” the campus, and to integrate sustainability into all of its curricula. The center plans to work with community, state and national partners to further develop the renewable energy industry in the Santa Fe region, and to become a resource for similar programs across the state of New Mexico and nationwide.
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