The Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) is a partnership of all 39 Illinois community college districts and 48 campuses working with businesses and local communities to grow Illinois’ green economy, providing new employment opportunities and healthy communities for all.
IGEN was launched in 2008 as a president-led consortium of all 48 Illinois community colleges dedicated to the training and education of a green workforce and deployment of energy conservation and green technology. With financial support from the Illinois Governor’s Office, Illinois DCEO, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Energy, IGEN works continuously to leverage the strengths and contributions of individual colleges to benefit all colleges within the Illinois Community College System. By combining the power of community colleges as credible education and training organizations, with the power of the business sector to innovate, and the ability of local communities to identify their individual needs, IGEN partnerships energize a new level of engagement and productivity in the green economy. IGEN focuses on the critical problems associated with the green economy that can be solved together, but not alone.
To position the Illinois Community College System as a global leader in transforming education and the economy for a sustainable future.
To provide a platform for collaboration among all Illinois community colleges and their partners to establish sustainable best practices, promote energy demand reduction projects, and drive growth of the green economy.
IGEN Strategic Goals
IGEN will support the 39 districts in the Illinois Community College System in creating or maintaining sustainability or green economy centers that conduct pilot projects, share best practices, and communicate lessons learned in the following IGEN strategic program areas.
- Green Campus – Making sustainability a guiding principle for all institutional practices, promoting successful initiatives that reduce energy use and the environmental impact at campuses, and enabling colleges to serve as sustainability demonstration sites for teaching and community engagement.
- Green Curriculum – Providing assistance and training to college faculty and staff to integrate sustainability and green economy content into most disciplines and in general education programs.
- Green Careers – Identifying, developing and expanding quality green job/career training for students and workers, effectively informed by community and employer partnerships (balancing demand/supply).
- Green Communities – Serving as regional and sector partners for mobilizing community and employer engagement, fostering community education, and supporting action for environmental sustainability.