Thursday, September 30, 2010

SWIC officially launched

We got word Wednesday afternoon that the State of California has signed the contract with Nova to fund the SolarTech Workforce Innovations Collaborative.

While the state committed $19 million in Green Innovation Challenge funding for six projects with its June 29 announcement, the expedited award schedule left a few details unresolved at the time of the award.

Approval of the SolarTech project plan had relatively smooth sailing, probably because of the previous Industry-Driven Regional Collaborative (IDRC) that also involved SolarTech and De Anza College.

The SJSU part of the SWIC will focus on two activities: curriculum development, and a series of surveys of solar industry employers.

Stay tuned for more info…

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Catching the Green Wave at SJSU

When the Solar Workforce Project came to SJSU, one of the advantages — to EDD, SWIC and to us — is opportunity to leverage the broad base of sustainability programs here. Even if only a portion of these sustainability efforts align to the SWIC (or GIC) goals, nonetheless having an existing interest is a real asset for the Solar Workforce Project to build upon.

The issue of environmental sustainability (there is also business sustainability) has been directly researched in my department for the past three years. More generally my coworkers were already studying and promoting environmental business concerns since I arrived in 2002-2003.

The university has created an over-arching Sustainability @ SJSU initiative, headed by Prof. Katherine Cushing. Prof. Cushing and her student assistants are working with faculty, staff and off-campus groups such as the City of San Jose’s Environmental Services department.

The earlier this month, the Spartan Daily highlighted one of the newest sustainability programs. In Spring 2011, the “Green Wave” class at SJSU will train students to do energy audits on campus and in the city of San Jose. The students will also evaluate or recommend solar energy where appropriate.

Another major sustainability push by SJSU this academic year comes from a $150k NSF grant in which an interdisciplinary team of students will develop a Zero-Emissions house. Led by Dr. Jinny Rhee, associate professor of mechanical engineering, the team is reporting its progress on a dedicated Facebook group.