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Virginia College students and graduates pass green building credentialing after taking part in USGBC program

Mar 4, 2013

A large group of Interior Design students and graduates from Virginia College in Birmingham recently passed green building credentialing exams that could advance their careers in the sustainability and green design/building sectors.

Dr. Kristi Julian, an interior designer in ECA's facilities group, was responsible for spearheading Virginia College student involvement in the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Green Workforce—Building Green Jobs Program. The program equips workers with the knowledge and skills necessary for employment in the green building sector through a five-step workforce development program focused on the fundamentals of green building and sustainability.

To date, 100% of the Virginia College students taking the certification exam have passed. The training is offered at no cost to eligible Alabamians that have met certain state requirements. As a result, Dr. Julian says, the cost savings to Virginia College students and graduates in the program is about $1700 per person.

Green building credentialing tests taken include either LEED® Green Associate or Green Advantage® Certified Practitioner. To prepare for the exams, participants take part in small group mentoring with local green building professionals. The program makes use of professional trainers as well as green building professionals who are volunteering their time and talent through USGBC-Alabama.

The program also provides professional networking opportunities with individuals and companies in the green building and sustainability trades.

As a result of this student engagement, the USGBC Alabama chapter is now interested in distributing information about the Building Green Jobs for Alabama program throughout the state through Virginia College.

Jamie Stone, RID, Program Director for the Interior Design and CADD programs at Virginia College in Birmingham, played a major part in the success of her students in the USGBC program by adjusting schedules for seminars and other program elements.