PRINCESS ANNE, MD – Delmarva Power, an Exelon Company, announced today it is pledging $1 million to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to help the land-grant institution expand training a sustainable workforce with emphases on agriculture and renewable energy in the company’s Maryland service area.
The gift will be used by UMES to launch the Green Collar Initiative, a series of energy conservation projects that include crafting a “sustainable curriculum” using research, development and training assistance targeting rural businesspeople, especially those in agribusiness.
“By educating students and the existing workforce in renewable energy – solar and passive solar, geothermal and related technologies – the university will help build a green workforce that is knowledgeable about energy preservation – and committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said John Allen, Regional Vice President for Delmarva Power, and chairman of UMES’ Board of Visitors.
“This gift will support the company’s commitment to workforce development within its service area,” Allen said. “Growing jobs, especially ‘green jobs,’ within Delmarva Power’s Maryland region will benefit the people whose skills will be enhanced – and the communities we serve.”
The $1 million gift from Delmarva Power is the single largest from a business or corporation in university history.
Allen and his utility company colleagues joined UMES President Juliette B. Bell in making the announcement at the university’s Engineering & Aviation Science Complex, the newest classroom building that incorporates many of the latest green-energy features in its design.
Among projects UMES will undertake:
- Provide “green” training opportunities through a certificate program for students and the existing workforce with an emphasis on the latest developments in “renewable energy solutions,” including solar, geothermal and related technologies.
- Keep public attention focused on the Green Collar Initiative long-term by deploying a “mobile transfer substation” that will visit schools and community colleges on recruiting outings, much the way libraries utilize bookmobiles.
- Design and build a “green power” model home on campus utilizing such energy conservation strategies as radiant floor heating, energy-efficient appliances, permeable paving and low / dual flush bathroom fixtures.
The dwelling will serve as a teaching tool by incorporating “sustainable” technology and design elements endorsed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Students and faculty in UMES’ School of Business & Technology and School of Agricultural & Natural Sciences will have roles in the project.
Kimberly Dumpson, UMES’ Executive Vice President who worked with Allen on the proposal, said “students will see how sustainability concepts are incorporated in the construction of commercial and residential properties, and gain hands-on knowledge about the application of alternative and renewable energy technologies.”
“Students enrolled in the University’s construction management, engineering and agriculture programs will be engaged through their respective disciplines during construction of the house,” Dumpson said.
Upon completion, UMES will hold workshops on sustainable energy design topics, conduct public tours of the house and grounds, and host events for the public at-large.
“This initiative reinforces the University’s commitment to sustainability,” Dumpson said, “and helps produce a ‘green-savvy’ workforce for our Eastern Shore region.”
Plans also call for UMES’ hospitality & tourism management and agriculture departments to nurture and promote organic farming as well as partnerships between farmers and local restaurants “to improve regional access to healthy foods.” The university envisions some of its efforts that evolve from the “LEGUMES” project to be featured in publications produced by Delmarva Power for its customers.