Red Rocks Community College

News Release


More information: Kim Rein




August 25, 2009



RRCC Receives WIRED Grant for Green Jobs Pathway Program

Hands-on solar and wind learning lab to prepare Jeffco students for Green Careers



LAKEWOOD, CO – The Metro DenverWorkforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) has awarded a $115,065 grant to Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) to develop the college’s Green Jobs Pathway, a program that will prepare Jefferson County high school students to enter a variety of careers in the green jobs industry.


The Green Jobs Pathway program is a partnership between Red Rocks Community College and Jefferson County Schools’ WarrenTech to make dual enrollment opportunities available to high school students interested in Energy degree programs offered by Red Rocks Community College. Students will graduate high school prepared for entry into competitive internships and college degree programs that will translate into entry-level jobs in the five areas of energy. While still in high school, students enrolled in the Green Jobs Pathway will be able to earn up to 12 college credits, reducing the time required to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. Students choosing to directly enter the workforce after high school graduation will also benefit from enrollment in the Green Jobs Pathway as they will leave high school with competencies and qualifications that are in demand among green collar employers in Colorado.


The grant will fund a hands-on solar and wind technology learning lab, leveraging existing resources located on the four campuses of WarrenTech and RRCC in Lakewood and Arvada.  Students will learn from industry-certified instructors who have expertise in the field and will become familiar with a college atmosphere ideally increasing the likelihood of continuation in a college-level degree or certificate program.  Courses have already been approved for students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit, thereby ensuring the program’s rigor while decreasing a student’s time and cost earning a college degree or certificate. Classes will integrate contextual learning using actual scenarios from industry and will engage students early in the workplace with experiences that range from job shadowing to full summer internships in partner energy companies.  Joint curriculum development in partnership with industry will ensure that students completing the course will develop the skills and competencies sought after in today’s green jobs market.


RRCC programs included in Green Jobs Pathway are:

Š       Solar PV and Solar Thermal

Š       Energy Operations (process technology)

Š       Energy Maintenance (commercial wind technician – windsmith)

Š       Environmental Technology (natural resources and water quality management)

Š       Energy Efficiency (Green Advantage, energy auditing certification training, electrical and HVAC building retrofits)


“Warren Tech and Red Rocks Community College are pleased to add the Green Job Pathway program to the dual enrollment career pathway programs offered at Warren Tech and now at the new Warren Tech North for Jefferson County students,” said Joan Smith, Dean, Red Rocks Community College. “Enrollment for fall has exceeded our expectations as youth seek opportunities to ‘make a difference’ in working toward the sustainability of our natural resources by developing alternative energy sources.”


About the Metro Denver WIRED Initiative

The Metro Denver WIRED Initiative is a four-year, $15 million regional workforce development grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Housed at the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, WIRED is developing a pipeline of workers for four of the nine-county Metro Denver region’s fastest-growing industries: aerospace, bioscience, energy, and information technology – software. To learn more about the Metro Denver WIRED Initiative, contact Kevin Weiner, (303) 620-8085 or, or visit


About RRCC

Since 1969, Red Rocks Community College has delivered quality education to students of all ages and backgrounds. RRCC offers more than 300 programs leading to two-year degrees or professional certificates and serves over 14,000 students per year at campus locations in Lakewood and Arvada.


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