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Go Big Green: Building Nebraska's Green Economy

Fall 2010 | Archives

Solar panels MCC student Kossi Dagbovie examines the meter attached to a small sample of photovoltaic solar collectors. What he learns in MCC's Solar Electric Installation class will help him create a more energy-conscious Nebraska—and world. Dagbovie is moving toward his goal of learning about and working in sustainable energies in Nebraska, and eventually he plans to take that knowledge home to Togo in West Africa.

Students like Dagbovie will receive more hands-on solar panel training as Nebraska revs up its focus on renewable energy sources. On the horizon are a pair of projects that will open new opportunities for MCC to train future renewable energy experts. The College is part of a $5 million statewide grant to connect industry with education and develop hubs of sustainability expertise in Nebraska. In this Nebraska Department of Labor project, MCC will help shore up eastern Nebraska's sustainable building technologies and green construction techniques. A second grant will fund curriculum development and specialist diplomas in solar and sustainable energy technology.

Solar panels

MCC's Solar Panel Installation class is one of many new classes that will help train students like Kossi Dagbovie for the growing green and clean economy.

Building Nebraska's green economy has significant impacts. By bolstering a green economy now, Nebraska will create jobs, reduce the state's environmental impact and play a key role as a Midwest leader on how to meet energy demands. In addition to regional effects, U.S. Senators Lee Terry and Ben Nelson have said solar energy and trained solar experts will help the country become more energy efficient and energy secure.

At MCC, the focus on renewable energies will create workshops for industry leaders, online and traditional solar courses, the integration of sustainable energy technology in trades courses and two dual credit high school courses. Classes could include collaboration with Creighton University, where students will receive hands-on experience working with the largest array of photovoltaic solar collectors in the state. The curriculum MCC develops will be replicated in community colleges across Nebraska.

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