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Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 8:30am

'Green' Technology Degree Debuts

Classes in a first of its kind program in sustainable technology begin in Savannah Wednesday.

A new program at Savannah Technical College aims at connecting students to jobs in the “green building” industries.

School officials devised the new curriculum in response to trends in residential weatherization, energy auditing, solar power installation and environmentally-sensitive building.

The program allows students to focus on sustainable technology in either electrical or construction fields.

Denise Grabowski of Savannah green design firm Symbioscity says, there are enough jobs in the industry to support the education.

“The green jobs industry is growing at a tremendously fast rate, even in economic downtown," Grabowski says. "So, there’s tremendous opportunity in green building here in Georgia and nationally.”

She says, Georgia companies like Dublin-based Mage Solar are filling a demand.

Many government agencies, including the US Army, now require “green building.”

Savannah Tech already offers a solar installation program.

The college’s Industrial Technology Dean Tal Loos says, there’s demand locally and nationally.

“There's not really much training out there for all the new energy techniques coming out," he says. "So, there’s missing need on how do you get somebody that’s out there in the field that does not have that training to be able to do that work that people are looking to have done.”

A McGraw-Hill study predicts green construction by next year will support nearly 8 million jobs nationally.

Occupations include construction managers, carpenters, electricians and architects.