GCC receives MassCEC grant to help region develop more green jobs

September 30, 2022

Greenfield Community College is doing its part to help local businesses and the environment thanks to a new grant from the state. 

GCC’s Workforce Development received a $50,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to develop and create a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning training program with local employers to help transition the area off fossil fuels and onto clean energy alternatives. The grant is part of the state’s larger $3.6 million grant program supporting minority- and women-owned businesses, workforce equity and environmental justice. 

“We’re excited to receive this grant and to start working with our HVAC community partners to bring clean energy solutions and careers to Franklin and Hampshire counties,” Vice President of Workforce Development Kristin Cole said. “This grant will allow us to build a program that fits the needs of regional employers, as well as the environment.” 

The grant will fund the start of a regional partnership to get training for workers in the fossil fuel industries and individuals in “environmental justice neighborhoods” to transition to clean energy alternatives. 

“This is an incredible opportunity for GCC and our regional workforce partners to come together and actively address ways to meet the Massachusetts State Clean Energy and Climate Plan goals,” said President Michelle Schutt.

The state’s funding is part of the Commonwealth’s climate goals, including reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. According to the MassCEC, the grants “will not only address the need to grow Massachusetts’ clean energy workforce, but they will also prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the full spectrum of economic opportunity, which will yield both an increasingly diverse bench of highly trained new workers and a wider array of thriving minority and women-owned business enterprises to help lead climate-critical work.”