Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Private college operator takes big step to improve environmental performance at all campuses
BIRMINGHAM, AL--Education Corporation of America (ECA), a leading owner and operator of private higher education institutions in the United States, announced today that Kyle Crider has been appointed manager of environmental operations.
In this newly created position, Crider directs all efforts to establish environmental and ecological best practices at ECA's Birmingham headquarters and 23 campuses across the country. In this capacity, he manages the company's overall programs in support of environmentally responsible and sustainable operations. The company operates Virginia College, online programs for Virginia College, Golf Academy of America, Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, and Ecotech Institute.
"We are thrilled to have Kyle on our team as we seek ways to both improve ECA's bottom line and reduce its environmental impact," said Ron Maillette, Executive Vice President, CIO and CSO at ECA. "He has a rich knowledge of the subject matter and a true passion for making our facilities more sustainable."
Crider brings deep experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to his role at ECA. In addition to serving as executive director of the Alabama Environmental Council, the state's oldest environmental educational organization, he has also served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. He also founded Sustainable Systems, Inc., an independent technical and environmental consultancy based in Birmingham.
"This is a dream green job for me and I look forward to helping ECA lead the way in the development of environmentally responsible and sustainable higher educational institutions," said Crider. "As ECA helps to transform student lives and local communities, I am excited to help add a level of environmental stewardship that is unique to our industry."
"We decided to sacrifice a full-time IT position to create this new position," added Maillette. "We took this bold step because we know it takes full-time dedication to the research and implementation of both basic and cutting-edge sustainable activities."
ECA recently opened Ecotech Institute, the first and only college focused entirely on preparing America's workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design. Launched in April 2010 in Aurora, Colo., the college offers seven associate's degrees and a certificate program designed by experts in the industry for people seeking careers in the emerging cleantech economy. Ecotech is transforming an existing large footprint building in Aurora into a LEED Silver-certified training facility that will incorporate energy and resource savings throughout the building.
Crider says the Ecotech campus serves as "green incubator" to test new ways of doing business at all ECA campuses. Several schools will soon conduct sustainability audits and will incorporate new environmental practices in their campus operations.
Crider will speak at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference, held October 10-12 in Denver, Colorado. He will discuss "Sustainability Initiatives at Education Corporation of America" and "Ecotech Institute: Training Tomorrow's Green Collar Workers Today." More information is available at http://www.aashe.org/.