Ecotech Institute's first group of graduates crossed the stage on June 21, 2012 and dozens of graduates are already working in the cleantech industry. Three companies have hired a combined 20 graduates, five additional companies have hired one or two graduates, and several students have offers pending. The companies range in size and specialty, with graduates receiving jobs in six different states.
In addition to demand from hiring organizations and job placements across the country, positive feedback from new employers about the graduates has been tremendous.
"Hiring managers across the board have been extremely complimentary about the quality of our graduates and their job readiness," said Michael Seifert, president of Ecotech Institute. "One company even said that Ecotech graduates are the best new hires he has ever worked with. Another company actually created a new position to better utilize the skills and knowledge of an Ecotech graduate. We are thrilled to see our alumni already experiencing great success and making an impact in the workplace."
At the school's first-ever graduation, forty-one students received their associate's degrees in the following areas: Wind Energy Technology, Solar Energy Technology, Renewable Energy Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology.
Former Governor Bill Ritter, who currently serves as the Director of the Colorado State University Center for the New Energy Economy, delivered the commencement speech. He offered perspectives from his position as governor, discussed Colorado's aggressive role in the new energy economy, and applauded the promising future of the cleantech and clean energy industries.
"We were in the worst recession since the Great Depression and the only part of the private sector that grew during that was the cleantech/clean energy [sector]," said Ritter. "For your purposes, you chose right. You chose well. You chose the thing that grew, it has the potential to grow and grow and grow."