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Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center Embarks on Green Economy Workforce

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.— The Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) is getting in on the green. They’ve embarked on a “green economy” workforce preparation program for the Central New York region, as part of the overall Syracuse EOC Green Initiative. This endeavor, primarily focused on training urban, low income and academically disadvantaged students, will be initiated in multiple states to provide flexibility in reacting to the developing Green Job market. The first stage will launch this summer with certificate training of photovoltaic and solar thermal panels installation. Partnering with local colleges and agencies that have a proven record in renewable resource education, such as Morrisville State College’s Renewable Energy Training Center (RETC), faculty and staff obtained required certification to provide instruction to ensure sustainability. “While the solar energy job market is in its infancy in Central New York, the Department of Labor predicts that it will be one of the fastest growing green technologies and may be the most abundant in CNY in the future,” explained Tim Penix, vice president of the Syracuse EOC. These training courses will provide participants with certificates of completion and the ability to take the national certification test, which will give them an advantage in the competitive job market. “Not only will students have the opportunity to train in a growing industry, but they will also be able to utilize traditional EOC programs to develop basic workplace skills, career planning, and job attainment training,” said Penix. The second stage will focus on maintenance, modification, and energy efficiency training that will start during the summer of 2011. Training in stages that mirror how the anticipated job market will develop and the anticipated career pathways that students will take, provides students with the ability to receive further training with advanced material, at the industry pace. “Once the solar program is implemented and has proven successful, we will explore other renewable resource areas such as geothermal, wind and biodiesel. All of these technologies are instrumental in having a positive impact on job growth in our community”, Penix further explained. Penix said National Grid has taken a vested interest and recently partnered with the Syracuse EOC to help support their Green Economy workforce preparation initiative. National Grid is pleased to support the 'green economy' workforce preparation program," said Susan Crossett, vice president of economic development for National Grid. "The program will not only provide students with the training necessary to meet the challenges of the rapidly-changing energy industry, but it will also advance renewable energy development and ultimately help to reduce our carbon footprint." “Many community agencies and corporations are interested in supporting the populations we serve, and their well-being as it pertains to energy reduction, economic empowerment and education,” Penix said. “We look forward to future collaborations and partnerships”. The Syracuse EOC is part of a statewide network of 10 education opportunity centers and two outreach and counseling centers that function as the 65th campus of the State University of New York. The Syracuse EOC, administered by Morrisville State College, provides innovative academic programs leading to higher education and vocational training programs leading to gainful employment and economic self-sufficiency for the urban community of Syracuse. For more information, visit . Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, Morrisville State College offers more than 80 bachelor and associate degrees and options. The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the Morrisville campus. ####