With assistance from IGEN, Illinois community colleges have implemented numerous projects to save energy on campus. Colleges participated in energy equipment group purchase programs, completed energy audits, replaced and installed interior and exterior lighting, energy efficient doors and windows, replaced gas HVAC systems with more efficient electric systems, upgraded pool covers in gyms to reduce heat loss, and installed renewable energy systems such as heat and solar PV. All 39 Illinois community college districts participated in an IGEN funded comprehensive analysis of commodity purchasing, energy consumption/use management, and the potential for renewable energy asset development.
Illinois Community Colleges are at the forefront in preparing students and workers for entry and advancement in exciting green careers. IGEN facilitated the IGEN Career Pathways Consortium in which colleges created or re-designed over 30 green industry certificate and degree programs at 17 Illinois community colleges. Colleges have also developed over 70 courses focusing on the green economy serving over 13,000 students. And modules focused on sustainability and future technologies have been created for traditional skilled crafts/trades programs to support faculty’s efforts to embed sustainability into legacy programs preparing learners for emerging technologies.
Illinois community colleges, partnering with IGEN, have offered community education and training to over 150,000 individuals over the last 12 years. IGEN partnered with Illinois Energy Conservation Consultants to offer the free Illinois International Energy Codes Training program. IGEN partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association to launch Illinois Power Pack, offering free informational sessions for business and homes on solar installation. And IGEN has hosted free conferences at colleges including the Implementing Behavior Change for Energy Efficiency conference
Believing in the power of collaboration and partnerships, IGEN has convened working groups tasked with moving forward efforts to build a green economy in Illinois, focusing on topics such as: Green Economy Initiatives, Smart Grid, Electric Vehicle Transportation, Green Healthcare, Local Foods, Recycling and Zero Waste, and Greening Your Curriculum. IGEN has also brought convened faculty work-alike groups to develop new programs and curriculum modules that can be embedded in traditional skilled crafts/trades programs to better prepare learners for emerging green careers.
IGEN has supported community-based programs and projects to educate local communities on sustainability. Twenty-seven colleges have installed at least one EV charging station with support from IGEN. IGEN organized a 3-day electric vehicle road trip across the state to educate consumers about the practicality of electric vehicles by promoting the advancements of Illinois’ electric vehicle infrastructure. Recognizing that sustainability is to ensure safe environments and resources for today and the future, IGEN also supported programs to educate 2,000+ middle and high school students in 104 classes through the Solar for Schools program. Illinois community colleges are taking action to help save the monarch butterfly by creating habitat, educating students and the public, and forming partnerships in order to help the monarch flourish across our state and across the continent.
IGEN has supported water audit training and water conservation studies to increase knowledge about water at Illinois community colleges and reduce water consumption in Illinois. Colleges installed Smart Grid information kiosks on campuses and more than 9,000 attendees participated in over 175 smart grid-related events at Illinois community colleges. A collaboration between IGEN and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Association assisted Illinois home performance professionals by making home energy evaluation equipment available at no charge. IGEN has also supported prairie restoration programs, campus recycling projects, river clean-ups, and the installation of bike-paths to support clean commuting options to and from campus. offering free informational sessions for business and homes on solar installation. And IGEN has hosted free conferences at colleges including the Implementing Behavior Change for Energy Efficiency conference