Red Rocks Community College
News Release

Red Rocks Community College
News Release
More information: Kim Rein




RRCC joins international partner Al-Huson University College to
launch the first solar energy tech program in the Middle East


AMMAN, Jordan--Al-Huson University College (HUC), a partner school to Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) in Jordan, hosted  RRCC dean Joan Smith on October 24 for an event announcing the official start of HUC’s solar energy technology associate degree program. The event also celebrated the third graduation from HUC's piping supervisor program.

“Our partnership with Al-Huson University College promotes in the Jordanian workforce an in-depth understanding of the skills and green practices used by U.S. energy technicians,” said Smith. “Technical education offered with an American partner is a unique experience for students in Jordan and will help them in competing for jobs.” Smith is also the executive director of the college’s OSHA/Rocky Mountain Education Center.

Jordan's government is addressing their energy consumption's high cost, which has reached up to 20 percent of their GDP. In 2007 they declared seven percent of Jordanian power would come from renewable sources by 2015 and 10 percent by 2020. The country faces having to either import a skilled workforce or train their own to implement these changes, including a goal of generating 600 megawatts of solar energy per year. Red Rocks Community College offers AAS degrees in solar PV and solar thermal. RRCC’s leadership in renewable energy technology education drew HUC to seek RRCC’s partnership in applying for funding from USAID for International Development Higher Education Development. USAID has announced its intent to continue to fund the project for an additional three years. The expansion funding will assist HUC in adapting other RRCC programs to include Occupational Safety and Health and Water Quality Management.   

The October 24 event in Jordan was under the patronage of Jordan's Minster of Labor. Speakers at the event honoring the students of HUC included Khlaif Al-Tarawne, president of Al-Balqua Applied University, the lead institution for the college system; Suheil Sabbagh, president, Group Human Resources; Dr. Khlaif Alkhawaldeh, Secretary General, Ministry of Labor, Consolidated Contractors Company; and Dr. Ruba Jaradat, United States Agency for International Development in Jordan. Also in attendance were Dr. John Knapp, the director of the BEST project/CIDA; Dr. Alex Boston, the Peace Corps director; and Qais Qatamin, the director of the employment, vocational, and technical education and training (E-TVET) fund.

More about Al-Huson University College: Established in 1981 as part of Jordan's Ministry of Education's second project and a part of Al-Balqa Applied University Colleges since 1997, HUC conveys associate, bachelor, and master's degrees in several engineering and technical fields including their new joint program with RRCC in solar energy technology. The college is a leading institution in building partnerships with industry in Jordan and abroad.

More about Red Rocks Community College: 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. RRCC maintains close ties to the community around it, working with local companies to ensure the best internship and job placement possible. For more information on RRCC's renewable energy technology program, visit

More about OSHA/Rocky Mountain Education Center: As the continuing education department of Red Rocks Community College and the OSHA Region VIII Training Institute, RMEC is dedicated to providing high quality, effective and affordable training services. In addition to the safety and environmental compliance courses, RMEC has expanded offerings to include the EPA Certified Lead Renovator course, pre-employment testing services using WorkKeys©, and green industry certifications test prep courses and test proctoring to ensure contractors are current in energy efficiency and alternative energy installation and operations.


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Concert at RRCC
Joan Smith (center) and some of the newly enrolled solar energy technology students
from Al-Huson University College (HUC) in Amman, Jordan attend the October 24
graduation of the HUC Piping Supervisor students and the launch of their Solar
Energy Technology Program.