College's green job training and education program reports success

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Amanda Hungate, 24, is a first time college student experiencing success in the College of the Siskiyous Resources Technology Program.

In the start-up of its second year the College of the Siskiyous Resources Technology Program, designed to provide training for green jobs and careers with natural resource agencies and private companies, is reporting success.  

Information about Associate of Science Degrees, certificates and courses for fall registration can be found at the program’s new website: www.siskiyous.edu/cte/er/

Fall classes start Aug. 16; registration is open for all ages.

A free “Green Career Options Showcase” is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 11 from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at the Weed Campus for community members interested in learning more about the program first-hand.

“I’ve been a stay-at-home mom and decided I wanted to go back to school to better myself,” says Yreka resident Amanda Hungate, a 24 year old student in the COS summer Introduction to Environmental Resources course. “While I’m taking the course, I have internship work with the Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District and I love it! I have always admired nature and like learning about everything around us. My favorite part is being back in the classroom again with other students who want to learn, and to be with an instructor who is very passionate about what he is teaching.”  

Larry Alexander, a program advisor and instructor for Introduction to Environmental Resources and Intermediate Field Studies, is a third generation Scott Valley resident. He has a degree in Biological Sciences, owns his own Resource Management coaching company and has extensive experience in hydrology, water resources, fuels, wildland fire practices and natural resource project planning and implementation. He is also the liaison between COS and Siskiyou Training & Employment Program’s collaborative Green Futures program.

“We teach facts, science, skills, share job opportunities and encourage students to make up their own minds about their futures and resource issues in the courses,”?Alexander said. “We also teach some soft skills for success in resource fields such as effective communication, how to get and keep a job, how to set goals and develop plans to achieve them.

“The students’ technical training includes: how to observe and collect data, field equipment use, computer skills for resource management and much more. I have seen firsthand students shift in their appreciation for subjects like botany and soil science. Seeing the response of the majority of students has been so positive. I get to see the light come on in their eyes and that is good because they are our future.”

Another enthusiastic first time college student, Jamison Sutcliffe of Happy Camp, age 23, exclaimed, “Dude, I love it. You can’t beat getting paid to go out and be in the woods. I always thought a class like this would be left wing and liberal. Our teacher gives us all sides of the stories and let’s us make up our own minds.

“I grew up in a logging family with my dad working 25 years for a timber company and my Grandpa working for the Forest Service. Right now I am an intern for the Forest Service out of Happy Camp. I didn’t know what to do with myself, and this course is starting to change my interests. I am now signing up to take more college resource technology classes.”

The COS program is a response to the national demand for more green job training and development.

“The Labor Department is assuring Congress that everything is going gangbusters on the green job front,” wrote Byron York, chief political correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle on June 11, 2010. The U.S. Department of Labor website recently announced $100 million dollars in “Green Jobs Training” through the Recovery Act, and $150 million in the “Pathways Out of Poverty” training grants for green jobs.

To find out about COS Green programs, the public is invited to the upcoming Green Career Options Showcase on Wednesday, Aug. 11 from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at the Weed Campus, in Distance Learning Center room #3. The Showcase will also be broadcast live to the Yreka Campus in Room #4. Program instructors, staff and administration will answer questions and share the highlights of all available classes.

The Environmental Resources Program provides students of all ages with education, hands-on training and exploration of the relationships between people and natural systems for sustainable jobs, careers and communities. The program is a unique collaboration of three distinct, yet interrelated programs: Resource Technology, Sustainable Communities, and Power Generation Technology.

For a list of fall classes go to the Environmental Resources program’s new website at: www.siskiyous.edu/cte/er/.

To register for fall classes, start Aug. 16, visit: www.siskiyous.edu/registration.htm, call 530-938-5272 or email: counselorsandadvisors@siskiyous.edu. College of the Siskiyous’ toll-free number is 888-397-4339.        

Larry Alexander, a College of the Siskiyous Resources Technology Program instructor and third generation Scott Valley resident, has a degree in Biological Sciences, owns his own resource management coaching company and has extensive natural resources project planning, implementation and coaching experience.