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Director of NRCERT to be Keynote Speaker at Green Jobs Training Kick-Off Event

Christiansburg, VA – Mark Jackson, Director of Community Housing Partners’ New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT) in Christiansburg, will be the keynote speaker at a green jobs training kickoff at noon on Friday, November 5 at the Mountain Empire Community College Goodloe Center in Big Stone Gap.

The event marks the launch of a six-month green job training program called PluggedIn Construction & Weatherization, which is a partnership between Mountain Empire Community College, the Regional Adult Education Program of Lee, Scott, Wise and Norton Public Schools, and the Appalachian Community Action and Development Agency.

Jackson will discuss the use of technology and job projections in the field of weatherization, as well as demonstrate leading-edge equipment using a hands-on training trailer he and his team are bringing to the event.

There are 24 men and women enrolled in the innovative classroom and internship program that will prepare them for emerging green jobs in home energy retrofit.  PluggedIn Construction and Weatherization will meet three days a week for classes and training that will provide GED, adult education and twenty-first-century skills, a college certificate in construction and weatherization, and an internship program in construction and weatherization.  Classes will meet at two locations: the Duffield Pioneer Center and the Wise Adult Learning Center.

The speaker itinerary for the November 5 event is as follows:

  • Introductions- Rebecca Scott, Regional Adult Ed Program, Program Manager
  • Welcome & Comments- Dr. Richard Phillips, Mountain Empire Community College, Vice-President of Academic and Student Services 
  • Welcome & Comments- Michelle Jones, Department of Housing and Community Development, Communities For Opportunities Director (Richmond)
  • Welcome & Comments- Darrell Blankenship, Southwest Virginia Workforce Investment Board  Executive Director (Lebanon)
  • PluggedIn Adult Education Component- Randy Stamper, Director of the Virginia Department of Education Office of Adult Education and Literacy (Richmond) and Dr. Richard Sebastian, Instructional Technology Specialist with the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center (Richmond)
  • PluggedIn College Component- Tommy Clements, Mountain Empire Community College, Dean of the Health Science and Industrial Technology Division
  • PluggedIn Internship Component- Angie Sproles, Appalachian Community Action and Development Agency Director
  • Keynote Presentation on Weatherization- Mark Jackson, New River Center for Energy Research and Training, Director (Christiansburg)

Presenters will be available for interviews with members of the press starting at 11:30 am.

This event is for students and partnering agencies and is not open to the public. For more details, call Sandy Collier with the Regional Adult Education Program at 877.722.3243