Proposed Green Jobs Academy in Bucks
Above Average Jane
October 26, 2009

BUCKS COUNTY, PA — Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) joined local business leaders, educators, and elected officials to announce funding and partnerships for a Green Jobs Academy in Bucks County. The Academy is the result of a significant public-private partnership, the result of the Congressman’s work to bring together businesses, academic institutions, and government players in workforce development. Major academic partners include Bucks County Community College , Bucks County Technical High School , Drexel University , and Delaware Valley College . The Bridge Business Center , located in a Pennsylvania Keystone Innovation Zone, will serve as the site of the Green Jobs Academy , which will provide students with the training they need to fill new green collar jobs coming to Bucks County . The Bridge Business Center is already home to a number of companies working on green energy and sustainability projects. Congressman Murphy has secured nearly $800,000 in funding for the establishment of the Academy.

Shortly after taking office, Rep. Murphy met with leaders in the renewable energy industry and learned that workforce development was an obstacle to the growth of green energy. To address this need, Rep. Murphy partnered with Bucks County Community College to create the Green Jobs Academy . Its primary goal will be ensuring that Bucks workers, particularly young people, can participate and compete in the renewable energy industry, creating jobs, protecting the environment, and lessening our dependence on foreign oil. The Green Jobs Academy will also provide shorter-term training programs geared toward incumbent workers looking for new skill sets. While some of these trainings already take place, the Academy will provide a centralized clearinghouse for these types of efforts in Bucks County .

Private industry partners will play a pivotal role in the Academy’s success, providing hands-on training, support, curriculum guidance, and help with on-site training and job placement. These partners currently include Dow, Lockheed Martin, AE Polysilicon, Gamesa, PECO, and Rhodia.

“The Green Jobs Academy will be critical in fostering economic growth in Bucks by training workers in the clean, green energy jobs of the future,” said Rep. Murphy. “I’m proud to have fought for funding and worked with these leaders across different sectors to make this private-public partnership possible. This model will prepare students to enter a new, high-tech workforce and will remove a major hurdle to the development of renewable energy.”

“Bucks County Community College is encouraged by the trust placed in it by Congressman Murphy to develop and deliver on this major new initiative for our citizens and our business community,” said Dr. James Linksz, President of Bucks County Community College. “Our continuing partnership with education and public and private sectors in Bucks County should enable us to create a model academy, bringing the best that each has to offer. This is indeed the right project at the right time with the right partners to make things happen.”

“Drexel University looks forward to our collaboration with Bucks County Community College in providing new instructional and experiential opportunities for citizens and industries in our region in renewable energy,” said William Lynch, Dean of Goodwin College of Professional Studies at Drexel University . “By co-locating educational initiatives at the Bridge Business Center , Drexel University and Bucks County Community College will contribute a new and unique catalyst for workforce and economic development. We are grateful to Congressman Patrick Murphy for his support and encouragement in making this regional dream a reality for current and future citizens.”

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