Antioch University New England, Greenfield Community College, Keene State College, and the School for International Training are launching the Ecovation Hub Education and Training Consortium, dedicated to bringing broader green economy knowledge and opportunities to the tri-state area of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. A ceremonial MOU signing and networking event was held on Thursday, July 20, at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.
Abigal Abrash Walton, lead for the Ecovation Hub Knowledge Center, Core Faculty at Antioch University, and Co-Director of Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience, welcomed attendees: “It’s great to be at this stage of the process in creating a powerful collaboration among these four higher ed institutions. Our shared purpose is to provide education and training in resilient, sustainable community-building, with an emphasis on green building craft and science, disaster resilience, and climate preparedness. This initiative could not be happening at a more important time for our region, this country, and the world.”
Leaders from all four schools spoke, as well as representatives for US Senators Bernie Sanders, Jeanne Shaheen, and Maggie Hassan, and Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster.
In a congratulatory letter shared at the MOU signing, Senator Shaheen wrote, “It’s so exciting to see initiatives like the Ecovation Hub continue to grow and take shape. Partnerships among higher education programs in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont will ensure that our regional workforce has qualified, well-trained workers to satisfy a growing demand for green energy solutions.”
Antioch University New England’s commitments include:
- Establishment of an Ecovation Hub Knowledge Center graduate fellowship, which has been awarded to Environmental Studies Master’s candidate Amy-Louise Pfeffer
- Establishment of a 3+2 Bachelor’s to Master’s degree arrangement, with Keene State College, creating an accelerated and structured pathway for KSC students in the Architecture, Product Design, and Occupational Safety and Health programs into Antioch’s MBA program
- Collaborative, dual degree development between Antioch’s Environmental Studies department and SIT
The shared mission is to establish a nationally recognized consortium of regional higher education institutions and other key partner organizations focused on community sustainability and resilience that creates new knowledge, provides training and capacity building, and demonstrates and implements different approaches in this region to serve as real-world examples.
If successful, the Consortium will contribute to the Ecovation Hub’s vision of becoming a recognized national leader in creating resilient, sustainable buildings and communities, and its goals of creating 1,600 high-wage Green Economy jobs, retaining and employing 500 young people in the region, attracting green economy investment, and bringing 25,000 visitors each year to this region.
This Ecovation Education and Training Consortium has been designated a vital project through the 2016 Windham Region S.M.A.R.T. CEDS ranking process.