CCCS Developing Pathways for Jobs in Clean Energy
DENVER, (Jan. 29, 2024) — The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is partnering with the Colorado—Wyoming Climate Resilience Engine, a recipient of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Regional Innovation Engines program that aims to strengthen Colorado’s emerging climate resilience sector.
The NSF awarded the CO-WY Engine $15 million over the next two years, totaling up to $160 million over ten years. CCCS will work with the CO-WY engine to align clean energy programming to the latest industry demands and innovations.
“Through our ongoing conversations with business and community leaders, it’s clear we need a skilled, diverse workforce to power Colorado’s clean energy economy and prepare our state for a changing climate,” said Michael Macklin, CCCS Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Workforce Development. “As the state’s largest provider of workforce training, we are proud to partner with the CO-WY Engine to meet these needs and train thousands of Coloradans for high-paying, in-demand jobs.”
Several CCCS colleges offer a range of clean technology programs and are working with Education Design Lab to roll out micro-pathways that lead to in-demand jobs. Through the state’s Strengthening Photovoltaic and Renewable Careers workforce development program, CCCS received $5 million to enhance infrastructure and develop and scale these programs at CCCS colleges. CCCS also delivers custom trainings to Colorado companies through its Skill Advance Colorado program, administered jointly with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
“As the region evolves into a leading innovation ecosystem, the demand for a skilled workforce conversant with the latest technologies and practices in climate resilience will surge,” said Mike Freeman, Chief Executive Officer of Innosphere Ventures that is convening the CO-WY Engine. “Partner institutions like CCCS are central to developing this workforce, offering specialized programs and training to prepare students and professionals for the emerging job market.”
CCCS joins several Colorado higher education partners in the CO-WY Engine, including the Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to training a clean energy workforce, the institutions will work together to expand research and transfer opportunities and foster innovations that will shape the future of climate-resilient technologies.
About the CO-WY Climate Resilience Engine:
The Colorado-Wyoming Climate Resilience Engine (CO-WY Engine) is a collaborative initiative focused on driving innovation in climate resiliency and sustainability across the Colorado-Wyoming region. Supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the CO-WY Engine brings together a diverse network of partners to develop and commercialize technologies that address critical environmental challenges, foster economic growth and enhance community well-being. Visit www.co-wyengine.org for more information.
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, delivering more than 1,000 programs to over 113,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 35+ locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy, and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college. Learn more at www.cccs.edu.