Alfred State College President Dr. John M. Anderson  recently attended the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) meeting where he joined his fellow college presidents in signing the SEED (Sustainability Education and Economic Development) commitment, the first nationwide initiative to collaborate on and implement programs to train students with the education and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century’s green economy.
As a signatory of the SEED commitment, Anderson agrees to identify, develop, and share, through the SEED Center, appropriate information on new and existing green economy courses, curricula, promising practices and programs that aid in building or advancing green job training and sustainability practices at the college and in the community; develop and engage staff and faculty in this effort, providing training and other resources to enable them to fully support our institutional efforts in this initiative; involve students through information on green certifications and career pathways and by inviting and supporting their participation in the courses and programs as they become available; engage community and green industry partners to identify priority-training needs and to create strong linkages between education and regional employment opportunities; and enhance the reach, use, and effectiveness of the SEED Center among other community college leaders.
Anderson notes that he is “proud to join my colleagues in this necessary and worthwhile endeavor. Colleges play a vital role in preparing our nation’s workforce and in acting as agents of economic change. I wholeheartedly embrace this opportunity to train workers for high-growth jobs in the green economy and educate students about the importance of sustainability.”
Alfred State College has long been in the forefront of sustainability activities; among them, the creation of the Institute for Sustainability (which encompasses the Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture  and the Center for Renewable Energy ) which is taking the lead in this agrarian county to help small farmers farm more sustainably and profitably, modeling both traditional and organic methods in crop production and livestock.
Students enrolled in construction-related curriculums are building a green home  to federal Energy Star and National Association of Home Builders standards on the Wellsville campus, which will serve as a showcase and instructional model, with support from Appalachian Regional Commission. Faculty and students in the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program  have traveled to Washington, DC, where they have worked with the US National Arboretum to install photovoltaic arrays  to bring power to remote portions of the Arboretum campus.
The SEED Center is being developed by the American Association of Community Colleges and ecoAmerica, with funding from The Kresge Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and Flora Family Foundation. The American Association of Community Colleges (www.aacc.nche.edu ) is a national organization representing the nation’s close to 1,200 community colleges and their more than 12 million students. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing segment of U.S. higher education.