(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Subcommittee, announced that she has included $1 million to help Washington state students meet the demand of the growing clean energy industry in the Fiscal Year 2011 LHHS Appropriations bill. This investment will allow Central Washington University to launch the state’s first bachelor’s degree program in Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (REST).
“In the 21st century economy, it is critical that we continue investing in local projects that train our workforce, teach our students, and boost our economy,” said Senator Murray. “This program offers students a unique education opportunity to obtain the skills they need to land family-wage jobs in the emerging clean energy industry. It will also create jobs in Central Washington and encourage clean energy companies to move to Washington to take advantage of our highly-skilled workers.”
The REST program will expand a specialization in green jobs within the construction management degree program into a bachelor’s degree in clean energy. This program will prepare students to enter the clean energy workforce.
“The Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology degree program will prepare our students for twenty-first energy jobs in clean energy industries. For the nation, this program will provide the needed work force to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our national security,” said William Bender, Professor at Central Washington University.
Funding will help purchase and install specialized equipment that is essential to an education in clean energy technology. It will also allow faculty to develop and finalize a curriculum for the new degree program.
Having passed the LHHS subcommittee, the bill will now go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee before going to the full Senate for consideration.