President’s View: Greenville Tech focused on growing people and business
Program Manager/BEST Program (Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow) - Peralta Community College District
Facilities Manager - San Mateo County Community College District
Bond Central Utilities Plant Construction Coordinator - Lane Community College
Bond Construction Facilities Coordinator - Project Employee - Lane Community College
Source: Dr. Keith Miller, Predient of Greenville Technical College, in Greenville Online
This month, Greenville Technical College is being recognized nationally as an innovator in sustainability education by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center. This puts us in the company of 28 colleges across the country that are leaders in green/sustainable programming.
We received this recognition as we change the way we educate and the way we operate. We have incorporated green building science into our Architectural and Construction Engineering Technology program, which includes a new Solar Technician Certificate. We also offer many short-term courses that fall into the “green jobs” category through the college’s Corporate and Career Development Division for continuing learners. These offerings include everything from the basics of green building to more comprehensive offerings such as the Green Supply Chain Certificate.
Our infrastructure is changing, too, as our first LEED Silver certified building was celebrated late last year, and we hope to achieve LEED certification on a second building soon. These certifications mean that we’re becoming more efficient with use of water and energy as we use materials that have little impact on the environment.
Our employees are helping us make these changes; three have completed Furman University’s Diploma in Corporate Sustainability, and we plan to send more people through this excellent program this year.
We’re even changing the way people reach us. We’re pleased to provide space for an extension of our community’s Swamp Rabbit Trail, joining our Barton Campus to the cycling and walking path that will eventually extend from Travelers Rest to Lake Conestee Nature Park.
Being recognized for sustainability is important to us because protecting resources matters. Sustainability is being able to last and flourish. As Greenville Technical College celebrates 50 years in this community, that’s what we’re all about. We were established in 1962 to be an economic resource preparing the labor market for an increase and diversification of the state’s industrial base.
Much has changed over the past 50 years, but our mission of driving personal and economic growth through learning has been a consistent thread through our history. We help new companies get off the ground by delivering a well-qualified workforce. Once they’re established, we help business and industry grow by growing their employees.
Just as we’ve changed the curriculum to prepare for green jobs ahead, we’ve made sure that current and future employer needs shape the college’s programs. Our goal is to give employers highly skilled people who can hit the ground running even as today’s economy may cause that ground to move beneath their feet and to give students real-world skills that translate into the ability to make a comfortable living.
As we plan for the future, we sit down with employers and we listen to their needs. Sometimes those conversations take place in advisory committees where representatives from leading companies come together and steer our programs toward alignment with industry trends. Other times, employers pick up the phone and describe the kind of employee they’re currently seeking and will seek in the future. If that person is hard to find based on existing skills, we change what we’re teaching to create a pipeline of people who have what it takes to move business and the economy ahead today and tomorrow.
At Greenville Technical College, we see a future where we’ll have a much smaller impact on the environment but a greater impact on economic development in the community we serve. Greenville Tech has a history of driving personal and economic growth through learning.
We look forward to the next 50 years of growing people, growing business and growing Greenville, and with your continued help, we’ll create a future as impressive as the past.
Dr. Keith Miller is president of Greenville Technical College, past chairman of the board for the American Association of Community Colleges, and a member of the board for the American Council on Education.
Read at GreenvilleOnline.com