A few weeks ago, commercials started airing in the Denver metro area promoting a new 2-year technical school called Ecotech Institute (ETI). Purporting to be the first of its kind, “Ecotech Institute is . . . entirely focused on preparing students for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design . . . solar power, wind turbine technology, sustainable interior design, environmental paralegal…the environmental jobs of the new green economy. ”
The two year school is run by Education Corporation of America (ECA Colleges). ECA “owns and operates private institutions of higher education throughout the United States”, including a golf school, a culinary school, and Virginia College (a two year school with campuses throughout the southeastern United States).
Ecotech offers a range of programs. They are “designed by experts in the industry for people seeking careers in the emerging clean tech economy. These programs are created to give graduates the practical, hands-on skills necessary to provide employers with environmental job ready employees, ready to make an immediate impact in their businesses.” The programs include:
Electrical Engineering Technology
Renewable Energy Technology
Solar Energy Technology
Sustainable Interior Design
Wind Energy Technology
An associate’s degree (in Applied Science) is available for all programs except Sustainable Interior Design. For this program, Ecotech is offering a certificate. Specific details and information on these offerings can be found on Ecotech’s program page of their website.
According to a press release from ECA, once the Denver area campus is established (their flagship campus for the field), they plan to expand to other areas. Located in Aurora, the campus can be found at 14001 East Iliff Avenue.
In order for the clean energy economy and sustainable design to take off, there must be an educational infrastructure, especially as relates to the “green collar” jobs. Training technicians, engineers, and installers to mobilize green technology must be a priority. The next step is up to the market, perhaps with a little incentive from the federal government such as the rebates on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
– Eric Wilson
[Image source: Ecotechinstitute.com]