"If you would have told me just two years ago that I’d be living in Hawaii and working for a solar company, I would have thought you were crazy. However, that’s what I’m doing today and I couldn’t be happier."
Ecotech Institute, located in the Denver/Aurora, Colorado area, is the first and only college entirely focused on preparing graduates for careers in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. Ecotech Institute offers associate’s degrees in Solar Energy Technology, Wind Energy Technology, Energy Efficiency, Electrical Engineering Technology, Power Utility Technician, Business Administration — Sustainability, and more…the environmental jobs of the new green economy.
Of course, not every student can expect to head to Hawaii with their first job offer after obtaining a 2-year associate’s degree. But the fact that five of the 42 students from Ecotech’s first graduating class in June 2012 did so is pretty cool.
The reason, of course, is that cleantech jobs are in demand. Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index, which used the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics definition for green jobs, found more than three million of them in 2012.
But Ecotech is not just about a cleantech job… it’s about a lifestyle. Here’s what our alumni are saying:
"I've learned that sustainability is more than saving money and reducing landfill growth. It is necessary to save our world for future generations."
"Before I went to Ecotech I didn't really didn't have an idea about sustainability, but now I’m a pro."
"I worked in the oilfield before joining the Institute. Now I know I'm on the right track: Responsible practices."
"The knowledge obtained at Ecotech really enhanced my feelings toward efficiency so much so that I feel like I've turned to a new direction in the way I think about sustainability."
Here are a few other quotes from Ecotech Alumni:
"The time I spent at Ecotech Institute was a life changing experience and the education I received was priceless."
"Could not imagine being instructed by any other instructors; they were all great!"
"Ecotech taught me more than electrical engineering. I learned how to be a successful person, as well."
"I'm excited about having a job that I enjoy, with a company that is involved in renewable energy."
"I know it was the best decision I ever made."
To close with the words of one of Ecotech’s Wind Turbine Service Technician program alumni: "My office being 300 feet in the air is amazing!"
Kyle Crider is Manager – Environmental Operations at Ecotech Institute and Education Corporation of America. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree with a double-emphasis in Urban Planning & Policy Analysis. He is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND). He is currently in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Ph.D. Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and not necessarily those of Ecotech Institute or Education Corporation of America. Email Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org
[i] As quoted in Solar Power World, Sept. 26, 2012