Brownback gets pork for JCCC

Good?  Bad?



Johnson County Community College received $713,625 toward a Center for Sustainability from an earmark secured by Sen. Sam Brownback as part of the FY2009 omnibus appropriations bill, signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 11.

JCCC’s Center for Sustainability will serve as a resource for local education, business and civic entities and include education and training in:

•        Green workplace practices, such as recycling, waste reduction, energy efficiency, demand reduction efforts, alternative fuels and sustainability assessments

•        Sustainable resource management, such as green building practices, energy conservation, green real estate and green interior design

•        Efficient use of water and wastewater

•        Green landscaping and land use, such as the use of native vegetation and rain gardens in parks, public areas, and corporate and civic buildings and grounds

“The federal dollars will allow JCCC to become a prototype of sustainability education at the community college level,” said Jay Antle, executive director, Center for Sustainability, JCCC.

The Center for Sustainability will initiate two separate but related learning tracks — 1) traditional academic classes teaching energy, environment and sustainability and 2) hands-on learning of renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, solar cells, photovoltaic modules, hybrid transportation and biofuels.

The college will work with private and government entities to help fund capital projects on campus utilizing renewable and sustainable energy technology to create “living labs” for teaching and workforce development. Green workforce development will be assisted by these projects.

JCCC demonstrated its commitment to sustainability beginning March 2008, when JCCC president Terry A. Calaway joined more than 500 (now more than 600) college and university presidents signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. In keeping with this commitment, JCCC established targets to reduce its own carbon footprint, incorporate sustainability into the curriculum and become a regional leader in green-collar credit classes and workforce development training through the creation of a Center for Sustainability. Antle was named its executive director in January 2009.

“The college will use these earmark funds responsibly — toward education now and the preservation of our planet for the future,” Calaway said. “The federal money gives JCCC the opportunity to be a leader in our community as a resource for sustainability education through credit and continuing education courses, programs and projects in partnership with other organizations and as a model of a green workplace that is working to minimize global warming.”

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