Monday, November 9, 2009

St. Louis Community College and the Triple Bottom Line

With metro St. Louis having one of the nation’s worst per capita carbon footprints, unemployment approaching 10%, and 30% of adults (age 25 and older) with no education beyond high school, opportunities to contribute to the ‘triple bottom line’ are very much in play. This is the impetus for the greening of St. Louis Community College (STLCC), the region’s largest educational institution, and its role in helping the region achieve the interdependent goals of sustainability, economic recovery and a skilled workforce.

STLCC’s journey to sustainability includes a commitment to Green Building Projects, the greening of existing degree and certificate programs and the creation of accelerated job-training programs targeted at low-skilled adults who are seeking opportunities in the green-collar economy.

STLCC completed its first Green Building project at the Wildwood campus in 2007 which attained Gold LEED Certification and was the largest Gold certified education building in the country at the time it opened. We are soon to open a new biotechnology facility at BRIDG Park and the Harrison Education Center in the fall of 2010. Both are slated for LEED Silver certification.

Green workforce development efforts include the infusion of LEED standards and sustainable building practices in architectural and construction technology; short-term training in home energy auditing and environmental remediation; and several on-line professional development courses designed to quickly bring working professionals up to speed on different green technologies and practices.

If St. Louis’ ideal future includes green corporate social responsibility and an eco-literate community fueled by knowledge workers who contribute to sustainability at home and at work, then count on St. Louis Community College to be an indispensible part of the social and economic fabric of the region for years to come.

Republished with permission of the St. Louis Business Journal.

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