Empowering the Future: Lane Community College highlighted in Energy Secretary's Clean Energy Vision

February 7, 2024
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

WASHINGTON, DC — During this week's ACCT National Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C., U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm illuminated the critical role community colleges play in advancing the clean energy workforce, showcasing Lane Community College (LCC) as a beacon of success and innovation in the field.

The National Legislative Summit, organized by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), is the leading advocacy event for community colleges in the U.S. The Summit provides a platform for over a thousand leaders from community colleges to engage with legislators and policy makers, emphasizing the pivotal role of community colleges in the educational and economic ecosystems.

Secretary Granholm's remarks emphasized the burgeoning opportunities in the clean energy sector, highlighting the Biden administration's commitment to this sustainable future through landmark legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act. In a landscape marked by the urgent need for clean energy solutions, community colleges stand at the forefront of preparing a new generation of skilled workers required to meet this demand.

Granholm's call to action for community colleges underscored the importance of integrating clean energy programs into their curricula and facilities. Here, Lane Community College emerged as a star example. LCC's Energy Management Degree, offered through the Northwest Water & Energy Education Institute, epitomizes the blend of theoretical knowledge and practical, real-world training that Secretary Granholm advocated for. By preparing students to become energy-efficient problem solvers in facilities management, LCC aligns directly with federal goals for workforce development in the clean energy sector.

LCC's approach to energy management education—combining rigorous online courses with hands-on training—serves as a model for community colleges nationwide. The success stories mentioned by Secretary Granholm, including LCC alumna Kory Bowlin who found their calling as an energy analyst, underscore the tangible impact of such educational programs on individuals and the broader community.

The mention of Lane Community College at the ACCT National Legislative Summit not only highlights the institution's contributions to clean energy and workforce development but also serves as an inspiration for community colleges across the nation to follow suit. As the clean energy market continues to expand, the role of educational institutions like LCC in shaping the future workforce becomes increasingly significant.

In her speech, Granholm not only celebrated the achievements of institutions like Lane Community College but also laid down a roadmap for how community colleges can continue to contribute to the clean energy transition. This includes taking advantage of federal incentives for clean energy projects, developing targeted workforce training programs, and engaging students in the promising future of clean energy careers.

As we look to the future, Lane Community College's spotlight at the Summit serves as a reminder of the powerful role educational institutions play in environmental stewardship and economic development. Through continued innovation and commitment to clean energy education, community colleges can lead the charge toward a sustainable and prosperous future.

Brett Rowlett, Executive Director of External Affairs

Lane Community College educates over 15,000 students annually at six locations across Lane County and online. Students and alumni from all 50 states and 79 countries create more than an $675 million dollar impact on the local economy, helping to support more than 8,900 local jobs. Lane provides affordable, quality, professional technical and college transfer programs; business development and employee training; academic, language and life skills development; and lifelong personal development and enrichment courses.

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