BCC wins $100000 green energy grant

August 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

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FALL RIVER — Bristol Community College’s focus on green energy has been boosted by a $100,000 grant from the state.

State officials toured The Green Center at 1082 Davol St. Thursday afternoon before announcing about $457,000 in Project CEO (Clean Energy Outreach) grants to fund five science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs across the state.

Funded as part of Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Workforce Capacity Building Program, the money will help build student skills and boost the number of high school graduates pursuing STEM majors in college.

“This program provides students with the skills they need to compete in this rapidly growing sector,” said Alicia Barton, CEO of MassCEC.

Clean energy jobs are on the rise in Massachusetts with an 11 percent increase last year. There are 5,000 clean energy companies statewide that employ 72,000 workers, said Rick Sullivan, Energy and Environmental Affairs secretary who also serves as chairman of MassCEC’s board of directors. He commended BCC for being ahead of the game to benefit the growing industry.

“It begins with education,” said U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, who chairs the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. He said the grant will specifically benefit SouthCoast to “help prepare workers across the region” for green technology opportunities.

In a BCC lab, Anthony Ucci, engineering professor at BCC, demonstrated two mini-windmills in a lab and said wind and solar are an essential part of all curriculum, especially engineering.

Ashley Bergeron, a second-year engineering student, said she is interested in sustainable, green energy.

“It is a challenge. I am learning a lot,” she said.

“It’s a great day for BCC, green energy and workforce development,” said BCC President John Sbrega.

BCC will use the money to continue to partner with local high schools, clean energy companies and government agencies to train and increase students’ exposure to clean energy career paths through revised curricula and dual enrollment programs for college.

The state also awarded $144,000 to Cape Cod Community College, $143,000 to Northeastern University, $50,072 to the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board and $20,000 to the Boston Private Industrial Council for green initiatives.

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