Gamesa, Bucks County Community College launch Green Jobs Academy
Bucks County News
July 2, 2010

Gamesa USA and Bucks County Community College on Monday inaugurated a Green Jobs Academy in Bristol that will train workers in the new skill sets needed to secure family sustaining, good-paying jobs in Pennsylvania’s growing “green” economy.

“Workers at every skill level are in high demand as the green economy flourishes,” said Luis Miguel Fernandez, Chief Corporate Officer of Gamesa North America. “This academy will help us with the skilled labor we need to keep building American’s clean energy future.”

Gamesa is a world leader in wind energy development and deployment. The company employs 6,300 workers worldwide, including nearly 800 in Pennsylvania, where the company has invested more than $220 million since 2004. The U.S. jobs are as varied as wind turbine component manufacturing; wind farm construction and turbine installation; wind turbine operations and maintenance; logistics and engineering; legal and marketing services; and much more.

Gamesa will support the Green Jobs Academy both as a primary user and through company-developed wind energy training and curriculum resources. Gamesa recently launched its own Corporate University, which includes in-person and online facilities outfitted with the latest equipment and materials to train workers across the globe in sustainable technologies. The Academy will serve as Gamesa’s U.S. base.

“The College is pleased to be partnering with Gamesa in its wind energy leadership role and in this model of training, which brings together the proven educational resources of both organizations. The Bridge Business Center and Green Jobs Academy site are quickly becoming the place to be for both training and development of sustainable science and technology. It is altogether fitting that Gamesa is a signature partner in this enterprise,” said Bucks County Community College President Dr. James Linksz.

The Green Jobs Academy also benefits from $946,000 in state and federal assistance.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $631,000 through a competitive grant process for the community college to develop and expand weatherization training centers. The Academy will use the funds to provide green job training for local workers in energy efficiency retrofitting and weatherization services. With this training, skilled workers can expand the use of energy efficient practices in homes and businesses while expanding their own opportunities in the job market.

“This new hands-on training program will get Bucks County workers ready to compete for high-paying green jobs that can’t be shipped overseas,” said U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-8), who shortly after taking office met with leaders in the renewable energy industry and organized a regional and national approach to workforce development in the green economy as a way to sustain community wealth and good jobs.

The remaining $315,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry --- made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act --- will fund Academy programs geared specifically toward veterans, providing them with job readiness training to restore the environment and economy while helping them transition back into their communities. The program focuses on: Renewable Energy; Pollution Prevention and Brownfield Cleanup; and Energy Efficiency. All three programs provide technical training, along with internships and additional hands-on experience, veteran’s development services, and the opportunity to establish career development relationships.

“Green jobs occupy an important role in Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Labor & Industry Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Dr. Robert Garraty. “To maintain our leadership in the global marketplace, we must invest in workforce programs that ensure Pennsylvanians have the skills to compete and succeed against global competition. The Green Jobs Academy is one of those investments.”

Under the leadership of Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania has solidified its position as a national clean energy leader. Since 2003, Pennsylvania has supported the development and deployment of alternative energy, investing nearly $1 billion that has attracted another $5 billion in private capital and created more than 8,300 jobs across the state.

“Pennsylvania’s strategic investments in the new energy economy have created an unprecedented demand for a skilled green energy workforce,” said Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger. “With more than 16 wind farms currently operating in Pennsylvania and more expected to come online during the next few years, I applaud Gamesa and the Bucks County Community College for providing an avenue to train a new generation of Pennsylvania workers who will not only benefit economically, but who will truly be making a difference in America’s clean energy future.”

Along with Bucks County Community College, industry partners in the Green Jobs Academy include Gamesa, AEPolysilicon, Y-Carbon, Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, PECO, Rhodia and Drexel University.

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