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North Carolina Greenforce Summit

Advancing Greener Careers and Campuses in North Carolina

November 14-15, 2011
Davidson County Community College Conference Center, Thomasville, NC

The Greenforce® Initiative, a partnership of the National Wildlife Federation and Jobs for the Future, and the Code Green Initiative of the North Carolina Community College Presidents' Association hosted the North Carolina Greenforce Conference at Davidson County Community College on November 14-15, 2011. The North Carolina Community College System is leading an unparalleled statewide effort to adapt their campuses and curricula to better prepare students to advance along green career pathways. The Conference brought together more than 100 faculty, staff, and administrators from North Carolina community colleges, as well as representatives of green businesses and workforce development agencies from across the state that are working to support green workforce education for the 21st century.

Purpose of the Conference:
  • Support the work of community colleges and other key stakeholders to prepare North Carolina's workforce to meet employer needs, foster entrepreneurship, and stimulate the green economy
  • Advance statewide efforts to integrate sustainable technologies into NC community college campuses and curricula by facilitating networking, peer-to-peer learning, and collaboration among faculty, staff, and administrators charged with making this transition
  • Spread models for using cutting-edge campus sustainability initiatives as experiential learning opportunities for students, while conserving resources and cutting costs
  • Help colleges make green economic opportunities more accessible through the exchange of best practices for developing programs that address common barriers to success



North Carolina’s green economy is strong and growing. According to the 2010 North Carolina Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Industries Census, clean energy sectors already support 12,500 full-time equivalent employees, a 22% increase from 2009. With clean energy job growth outpacing overall job growth in the state, skilled employees and entrepreneurs are needed to meet current demand for green products and services and help accelerate the development of a more sustainable economy. As the largest training platform in the county, community colleges are uniquely positioned to offer affordable educational opportunities that equip individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the green workforce.

In March 2011, the Greenforce Initiative partnered with the Code Green Initiative and the Super Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP) of the North Carolina Community College System to host regional summits in theMountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plains focused on green jobs training. The three summits brought together more than 200 individuals from 50 of the state’s 58 community colleges, as well as employers, business and community organizations, and economic development agencies to learn about emerging and evolving green sectors in their regions and share best practices for preparing students, including lower-skilled adults, to advance along green career pathways.

The North Carolina Greenforce Conference will again convene community college faculty, staff and administrators, as well as other key stakeholders across the state, to deepen our shared understanding of green workforce education. At the conference, we will establish strong regional learning networks to support further communication and collaboration among NC community colleges as they work to become models of sustainable learning laboratories and prepare students to meet the needs of the growing green economy. Please visit our website for more information about the Greenforce Initiative in North Carolina.

Jobs for the Future (JFF) and National Wildlife Federation (NWF) have forged a partnership through the Greenforce Initiative™, leveraging their combined expertise in workforce education and campus sustainability to help community colleges rise to the challenge of preparing our nation’s workforce to build up the green economy. The Greenforce Initiative works with community colleges in Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington (Seattle area).

With support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, participants will have full access to the 2-day conference for only $100 ($85 per person for groups of 3 or more). Two light breakfasts, two lunches, and one dinner will be included, and a limited number of travel scholarships will be offered to help offset travel costs for college teams.


  • The Greenforce Initiative (a partnership between National Wildlife Federation and Jobs for the Future)
  • Code Green Initiative
  • Code Green Super Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP)
  • North Carolina Community College System

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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