Anaerobic Digestion Technology Certificate Program
About the Team
Bellingham Technical College (BTC) and Washington State University (WSU) are ideal partners who have come together to fill the need for skilled technicians.
Bellingham Technical College
Technical and vocational training is BTC’s specialty and extremely high levels of student and employer satisfaction are seen year after year. BTC’s mission is to “deliver superior professional technical education for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.” This mission focuses on responding to workforce needs by developing a highly skilled educated workforce in collaboration with local, regional and national business, education and economic development partners. Additionally, BTC added a priority initiative in 2009 “to provide students with pathways into occupations that incorporate green/renewable technologies.”
Washington State University
Recognizing its unique land-grant research and education mission to the people of Washington and the state’s increasing global involvement, WSU’s College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resources’ (CAHNRS) mission is to “provide leadership in discovering, accessing and disseminating knowledge through high quality research, instruction and extension programs that contribute to a safe, abundant food and fiber supply; promote the well-being of individuals, families and communities; enhance sustainability of agricultural and economic systems; and promote stewardship of natural resources and ecological systems.” A particular initiative within WSU’s 5-year Strategic Plan involves development of sustainable, renewable energy, particularly through the generation of biofuels and bioenergy. WSU has developed particular expertise in anaerobic digestion including its applied research, education and outreach.
Ideal Partners – Professional Technical Education meets Topical Expertise
As a team, BTC and WSU set out to combine our expertise in technology development and work-force training to build and deliver a curriculum to train skilled technicians to operate and maintain anaerobic digestion systems, with a specific goal of sharing the process, the curriculum, and the lessons learned with other institutions nationwide who are similarly positioned to be at the leading edge of green/renewable technologies education and training. The goal of this collaboration was to establish a curriculum that could be utilized and customized by technical colleges across the US to support the emergence of a qualified and certified labor force that is able to support the emerging renewable energy industry.
Funding for “Development and Implementation of a Curriculum to Train Technicians for Rural Area Anaerobic Digesters” project graciously provided by the USDA NIFA NEW ERA RURAL TECHNOLOGY COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM (USDA-NIFA-FTP-002694)