Cuyamaca College, known throughout the state for its longtime commitment to the green movement, is hosting its third annual Sustainability Symposium Thursday, Dec. 13, at the college’s performing arts theater.
This is the first year the 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. forum will be followed by a Green Vendor and Networking Fair from 1:30-3:30 p.m. In another first, the event doubles as a scholarship fundraiser for students pursuing careers in green or sustainable industries.
Admission is $35 for the public or $5 for students and includes parking, a continental breakfast and lunch. All proceeds will be donated to the Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges Foundation to create a scholarship endowment for students taking sustainability courses at Cuyamaca College. With last year’s event drawing 300 attendees, organizers are hopeful that the symposium will strongly kick off the Foundation’s green scholarship endowment drive.
Educators, industry representatives and local organizations, including the San Diego Workforce Partnership, the California Conservation Corps, and San Diego Gas & Electric, are expected to participate in the conference, part of an effort to foster a culture of sustainability.
The keynote speaker is Philip Jordan, vice president of Carlsbad-based BW Research Partnership, who will talk about emerging trends in the green economy. Regarded as one of the nation’s leading clean-economy researchers, Jordan has conducted national economic and workforce studies on the solar labor market, as well as those relating to renewable energy, water, and green construction.
“Investments are increasing, as are regulatory policies and incentives to expand green industries,” said Jordan, who formerly headed Cuyamaca College’s Center of Excellence, which provided workforce research and data to the region’s community colleges. “There’s a new kind of optimism and people are more pro-green than they ever have been.”
Jordan said research shows that more green-industry employers are looking for workers with two- and four-year college degrees.
“Green jobs are not a quick way out of poverty,” he said. “Putting people on pathways to sustainability careers requires more education than it has before. More and more employers are reporting deficiencies in soft skills – communicating, problem solving, analytical skills – to the point that they are increasingly only hiring a person with a college degree because they know that someone who’s been to college is going to have those desired skills.”
Additional speakers and their topics are:
· Donald Jones, liaison for the college’s California Water Works project, “Water Issues and Needs Facing California”
· Colin Santulli, program manager of the California Center for Sustainable Energy’s Transportation Programs Group, “Electric Vehicle Information”
· Doug Kot, executive director, U.S. Green Building Council – San Diego Chapter, “Sustainable Building”
For sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, call (619) 660-4574. For more information or to register, go to www.cuyamaca.edu/green/