The National Science Foundation awarded Lane Community College’s Energy Management and Water Conservation department a grant of $537,310 to relaunch the Water Conservation Technician program beginning Fall 2019. The grant will be paid over the course of three years after which the college can re-apply for more funds.
This is the third year in a row that Roger Ebbage, director of Lane’s Water Conservation and Energy Management programs, requested the grant. With funding finally secured, Ebbage and his team are ready to relaunch the program after it was cut due to funding concerns.
The Water Conservation Technician curriculum is almost identical to the current Energy Management program, the only difference being the geographic regions in which the program is offered. The courses are 100 percent online, “a student doesn’t ever have to set foot on campus,” Ebbage said. Upon enrollment the student is paired with a “Field-Work Mentor,” typically an employee of a public utility, students then work one-on-one with the mentor gaining hands-on experience.
“Oregon has more public utilities than anywhere else in the country and many of these companies are looking to hire graduates of the program,” Ebbage said.
It is not yet known whether there will be any scholarship funds available, however applications for Fall 2019 are now being accepted.