Building a Local Workforce
Regional partners recently gathered for the Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) Partners Summit to discuss and support the school's renowned Renewable Energy Technology (RET) program. The Summit was held on the banks of the great Columbia River at the Maryhill Museum of Art: a regional cultural treasure and unique renewable energy success story.
One of the first RET programs officially approved by the American Wind Energy Association, the CGCC RET program offers curriculum and training experiences that shape the skilled workforce to match the region's renewable energy leadership.
CGCC leadership and staff - Dr. Susan Wolff, Dan Spatz, Abigail Brown, Mary Kramer and Suzanne Burd - provided program updates and welcomed feedback and new ideas about curriculum and workforce training.
Colleen Schafroth, Executive Director of the Maryhill Museum of Art, welcomed the group. We were among the first to meet in the museum’s beautiful new Mary & Bruce Stevenson Wing. Ms. Schafroth also presented a case study about how wind energy’s presence in the region – and on land owned by Maryhill – has enabled the museum to further thrive and expand.
Amanda Hoey, Executive Director of the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, presented a case study on regional economic development and the benefit of renewable industries.
Erin Greeson of Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) presented on the role policy plays in shaping the region’s renewable energy economy. She addressed successes linked to good policies, challenges posed by uncertainty, and opportunities that exist for renewable energy growth, from coal plant transitions to server farm and data center growth.
CGCC, a longtime RNP member, plays an imperative role in the Northwest clean energy ecosystem. We congratulate CGCC on years of success, and we encourage industry partners, communities and prospective students to learn more at: http://www.renewableenergycareers.org/
Dan Spatz, CGCC Institutional Advancement Officer, joined RNP and many allies in detailing Oregon’s $5.4B renewable energy industry success story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IctOfJK7omA
American Wind Energy Association recognized CGCC as one of its first officially approved Renewable Energy Technology programs: http://www.awea.org/learnabout/education/awea_soa.cfm
For more information about the Maryhill Museum of Art: http://www.maryhillmuseum.org
The Oregonian on Maryhill Museum's expansion: http://www.oregonlive.com/art/index.ssf/2012/04/maryhill_museum_of_art_inside.html
Video spanning the view at Maryhill Museum of Art: wind turbines, blue skies and Mt. Hood: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=398398990183517&ref=notif¬if_t=video_processed
Story by Mallory Miller and Erin Greeson.
Photographs by Erin Greeson. Capitions from top to bottom:
Renewable Energy Case Studies
Renewable energy development is transforming the region as companies and family farms harness their own power and catch the sustainability business wave. Check out the stories below for some examples of what others are doing.