Next Generation Job Training and Green Jobs
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Green Jobs, Energy Jobs, High Tech Jobs, Manufacturing Jobs, and new Job Training are all combined in the JOBS category at the top of the Obama Administration’s list of priorities for economic recovery. President Obama spoke at the February 12, 2013 State of the Union Address extensively about the need for new job creation and U.S. manufacturing in the context of clean technology.
The American Campus Efficiency Prize “ACE Prize” (www.ACEprize.com) may have found a sponsor that brings this range of jobs together. Independence LED, is a U.S. Manufacturer of LED tube products that save 50% of the energy over traditional fluorescent tubes. They have committed up to $10 Million in Scholarships for the A.C.E. Prize initiative. The amount of money is less core to this green job creation path than the innovation of the joint academic and business initiative to provide “Learn and Earn” benefits.
“Independence LED has already seen the value come in several ways. We have recently identified two of the students in the program that exhibited particularly high potential, and they are now trained in lighting energy auditing and on Return on Investment (ROI) Savings Report software. So, we are relocating them to Greater Philadelphia to join us this summer…” – Charlie Szoradi – Chairman, Independence LED. See the full quote, here: www.independenceled.com/education-training-and-scholarships
Independence LED believes that the next generation of their green job employees are the students that are currently enrolled in college and about to graduate. The LED tube company has started to mentor students to create what they call a “career launch pad” with practical business experience as a compliment to the students’ academic work. Independence LED then provides the scholarships as retrofit projects unfold on the students’ own campuses.
The Multi-Win Benefits:
1. Students benefit with knowledge and financial support.
2. Schools benefit with reduced operating costs on their lighting.
3. Independence LED benefits with a larger pool of prospective employees and installations at schools across the country.
4. America benefits with more U.S. manufactured products, an “energy-smart” trained workforce, and overall energy footprint reduction.
5. The planet benefits with reduced C02 emissions from major colleges and universities, since the LED tubes reduce 1.3 lbs of C02 for every annual kilowatt hour (kWh) saved.
Academic institutions across America face economic challenges in the same way that businesses and government agencies face budget challenges. Energy reduction is one powerful way to control the rising operating costs of education. Many schools seek federal and/or state support funding for energy retrofits. For schools that choose to retrofit with an LED tube system, as of November 30th 2012, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Funded projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) now require that each U.S. Made LED tube complies with the "Buy American" Standards.
This idea of energy or clean-tech job creation through building retrofits has been embraced since the initial Obama 2008 campaign and also specifically at the end of 2011 by the Obama Administration. The White House Office of the Press Secretary release on December 02, 2011:
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Implementation of Energy Savings Projects and Performance-Based Contracting for Energy Savings
“The Federal Government owns and operates nearly 3 billion square feet of Federal building space. Upgrading the energy performance of buildings is one of the fastest and most effective ways to reduce energy costs, cut pollution, and create jobs in the construction and energy sectors. We have a responsibility to lead by example, reduce our energy use, and operate our buildings efficiently.” – President Obama. Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/02/presidential-memor...
Campus facilities could become the templates and hubs for the next generation of energy performance buildings. If students actively participate from the beginning through energy auditing job training, they may find efficiencies leading to cost-effective retrofits. Measurement is often the key to energy management , and students most likely can start by easily counting everything from inefficient fluorescent tubes to facility hours of operation. The new generation of green job recipients may increase the likelihood of new technology adoption like the led tube and create further demand for more green jobs. The ACE Prize with the Independence LED tubes may have landed at the center of property efficiency and high tech jobs ranging from manufacturing jobs to engineering jobs across the energy job sector. The A.C.E. Prize encourages other U.S. Manufacturers of Energy Efficiency or Renewable Energy products beyond the LED tube sector to also participate in their "Learn and Earn" initiatives.