A group of U.S. senators will get a lesson in green jobs Tuesday morning, courtesy of Shoreline Community College.
SCC President Lee Lambert and student Phil Lou are scheduled to testify April 21 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The committee includes Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and is chaired by Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. The hearing is titled "Empowering Workers to Rebuild America's Economy and Longer-Term Competitiveness: Green Skills Training for Workers."
“It’s a great opportunity to remind our lawmakers that community and technical colleges are the education and training delivery system of choice for the emerging green-jobs market,” Lambert said. “At Shoreline, we know first-hand just how intensely interested students are in green-related classes because they fill up just as fast as we can roll them out.”
Murray said Congress, along with President Barack Obama, sees jobs from green technologies as an economic growth area as well as an environmental issue.
“Expanding opportunities for green jobs is critical to get our economy moving again,” Sen. Murray said. “Delivering the needed education and training for these new technologies will be a key role, one that community and technical colleges are well-suited to filling.
“I’m very pleased to have testimony by a student and the president from the college where I once taught. I know that Washington State’s college system is working to expand green-job programs and I’m excited to hear about the efforts at Shoreline Community College.”
Lambert’s written testimony to the committee focuses on two renewable-energy programs, the Zero Energy Technology classes and the hybrid and alternative fuels training available through the school’s nationally acclaimed Automotive Technology program.
Lou, 48, is a student in the Zero Energy Technology Program. The Vashon Island resident started with a class on designing solar electric systems for homes and businesses. The training allowed Lou to get a job with a Vashon electrical firm that was looking to start installing solar electric systems.
Lou already has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon. He had been working in various cabinetry jobs, but the onetime Peace Corps volunteer said he wanted to get into the renewable energy field and found the program at SCC. “I had started to think about the kind of world I was going to leave for my son,” Lou said.
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Title: Empowering Workers to Rebuild America’s Economy and Longer-Term Competitiveness: Green Skills Training for Workers
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 10:30 a.m. (7:30 a.m. PDT)
- The Honorable Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, Washington, DC
- Lee D. Lambert, President, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA
- Phillip C.L. Lou, Former Student in the Shoreline Community College Solar Design and Installation Program, Vashon, WA
- Dean Allen, Chief Executive Officer, McKinstry Company, Seattle, WA
- Mark H. Ayers, President, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC
- Joan Evans, Director, Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Cheyenne, WY