ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors Project
Given the projected growth of the clean energy sector, connecting adult students to clean energy occupations and pathways is vital. But while adult education could play a crucial role in workforce development by teaching, inspiring, motivating and preparing low-skilled, low-income adults to pursue training for clean energy-related jobs, the ABE system has had very limited exposure to clean energy concepts and career pathways.
World Education, in partnership with Finding Earth Works, designed the ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors project to address the misalignment between the potential opportunity offered by the emerging clean energy sector and the lack of information and exposure afforded to the ABE field. The pilot project was implemented from June 2012 to May 2013 with a Workforce Capacity Grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and additional support from World Education, Inc.
The project focused on providing participating program staff with clean energy concepts, background information, and access to real-world employers and industry experts. This information allowed practitioners to teach students about clean energy concepts embedded in content and language instruction, familiarize them with the local landscape of clean energy training providers and companies, and provide guidance in career and education planning. Further, students were encouraged to consider clean energy concepts and the implications for their roles as workers, consumers, and community members, as well as potential industry workers.
Eight Massachusetts ABE programs were engaged in the project. Participating educators attended a series of face-to-face and online training events to identify clean energy and academic learning objectives and to develop strategies for incorporating clean energy concepts into instruction and advising.
Given the positive results of this pilot project, World Education and Finding Earth Works are pursuing opportunities to disseminate the curriculum resources and expand the training model and approach to other states and regions. The ultimate goal is to build the capacity of the ABE field to connect learners to the emerging clean energy economy.
ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors Curriculum Resource Guide contains annotated online resources and a collection of lessons, activities and approaches developed by participating ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors, teachers and counselors. The lessons incorporate a variety of online, multi-media, and teacher-created resources and span a wide range of clean energy topics, approaches and student populations.
Project Co-Directors are Sandy Goodman, NCTN Director of Career Pathways and Alex Risley Schroeder, founder and principal of Finding Earth Works. For more information, contact Sandy Goodman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Sandy's article, Building Clean Energy Workforce Capacity in Massachusetts.