Pellissippi State Offers Green Energy Courses

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Pellissippi State Offers Green Energy Courses

Posted: 01/20/2009
Pellissippi State Technical Community College is responding to the rapidly growing interest in alternative energy and sustainable building practices by rolling out a slate of "Green/Renewable Energy Courses." 
The online courses are designed to fit the needs of industry professionals interested in learning more about emerging energy and conservation techniques in the construction and building maintenance fields.

Targeted professionals include everyone from architects, engineers, contractors and installation technicians to real estate agents, property managers and sales professionals.

PTSCC's goal is to offer courses that will help them upgrade their expertise in certain fields or perhaps learn new skills that will come in handy in the future. 
"The college is always looking for ways to benefit the community," said Brad Coburn, PTSCC's Director of Industrial and Contract Training, "and one of our strengths is having the platform to do this kind of training." 
Coburn indicated one of PTSCC's primary missions is to train the workforce to meet the needs of employers in this area. 
"This seemed to fit, there was a lot of buzz about it (sustainable building practices and new forms of energy)," Coburn said.

He said that there has been a lot of interest from area residents in the new programs.

The nearly two dozen "Green Training" courses are offered by Pellissippi's Business and Community Services division and are roughly split between construction, installation and maintenance courses and a series of courses focusing on sustainability or green supply chain training. 
"We're very excited about what Pellissippi State is doing, and frankly, their timing is spot-on," said Madeleine Weil, the City of Knoxville's Deputy Director of Policy & Communications. "Not only will these courses help build the base of expertise necessary to achieve many of the goals of Knoxville's Energy & Sustainability Initiative and the Solar America Cities Program - they'll also help people gain the skills they need to get back to work." 
Knoxville was selected as one of the Solar America Cities by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008, an honor that includes a $200,000 grant and technical assistance to help reduce barriers to the local generation of solar power here in the city. Helping Pellissippi develop local workforce training opportunities is one component of the city's work plan.

The city is also in the midst of a comprehensive effort to examine city government's energy use and make changes necessary to reduce its consumption, costs and emissions.

Pellissippi State's program offers classes ranging from basic courses like Sustainability 101 and Building Energy Efficiency Level I to more specific ones like Photovoltaic System Design & Installation. Other courses include Green Building Sales Professional, LEED Certification Exam Prep, Certified Sustainability Professional and Carbon Strategies. 
"Some people believe the green movement is a short term fix verses a long term solution," Coburn said acknowledging that people have been talking about things like the widespread use of solar energy or zero energy houses for years.

But, he added, with the improvements that have been made in the technology surrounding energy generation and use, those possibilities are on the cusp of becoming realities.

He also noted that the incoming presidential administration is strongly supportive of the efforts to make the country more energy-efficient. 
"Pellissippi State is the training platform for those areas," Coburn said.

Classes are online and can be completed at a student's own pace and take from 10 to 320 hours to complete depending on the course. The costs range from $249 to $2,120.

For more information about the programs, or to register, please call 865-539-7167 or access and click on Industrial and Technical.

For more information about the City of Knoxville's Solar America Cities Program, visit