Free Training For Future Biofuel Workers
The program is called EDGE (Education and Developing workers for the Green Economy). It was paid for with a $4 million grant the State Department of Labor.
EDGE is the first of its kind collaborative bio-energy training program.
The six-month certificate program is a joint effort between University of San Diego, Mira Costa College, San Diego State University, The San Diego Center for Algae Biology (SDCAB) and several biofuel companies.
EDGE offers students evening classes and training that range from entry-level technician training to a Masters of Science degree.
UCSD professor and SDCAB founder, Stephen Mayfield, PhD., started the EDGE program. He said he predicts the demand for bio-energy workers will skyrocket in the next two to five years.
“As we’re developing these certificate programs, they’re being evaluated by the people who will employ these guys to make sure we are very relevant in our training,” Mayfield said.
He also called EDGE a “forward thinking” project and said it is a pro-active program that will prepare a workforce for an inevitable boom in the bio-energy field.
“We did the program now so that in 2013, when we know we’re going to need thousands of employees, we have a trained workforce ready to deploy, all over California, all over the United States and the world,” said Mayfield.
EDGE is accepting applications now through the UCSD extension website. Classes are expected to start April 1st.
Tuition is free for students enrolled in the EDGE program for the next two years.