One of the most viable sectors in America’s manufacturing base is food production. A growing demand for local, sustainable, and artisan foods has generated new economic opportunities for small-scale food growing and production, from artisan cheeses to microbrews, in both rural and urban areas. The result is an emerging demand for new skills and knowledge, and community colleges reach a broader population base than do the current programs that are available through land grant colleges, cooperative extension, or agricultural organizations. Since sustainable food systems is a new area for most community colleges, to make it easier for them to test the waters, the Alliance for Sustainability has produced a new web site providing access to information about community college-level courses in all aspects of the sustainable food systems value chain (http://www.growgreened.com/). Created with a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and support from the Ford Foundation, the site enables community colleges to more easily and cost-effectively develop or expand programs for careers in sustainable food systems.
Archive for the ‘Green economy’ Category
The first is our recently released report for the Appalachian Regional Commission assessing the workforce trends and needs of the ARC region’s increasingly important renewable and non-renewable energy clusters. The report, Energy Workforce Trends and Training Needs in Appalachia, also includes compelling case studies of exemplary training programs in all 13 ARC states meeting the needs of the industry.
The second is Growth from the Ground Up: Community Colleges and Sustainable Food Systems, a conference report from the Alliance for Sustainability, a creation of RTS to network community colleges, held in September 2011 in Pittsboro, NC.
Lastly, we’ve added a report from TA3, an international network of community and technical colleges, that details the information and best practices found during a study tour of Denmark that demonstrated their commitment to sustainability and green building and the technical training supporting it. The full report is available here.