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An HVAC technician at work. MiraCosta College, which offers HVAC technician training, has been named an Industrial Assessment Center by the U.S. Department of Energy, which will help create accelerated workforce training in renewable energy trade programs. Courtesy photo.

MiraCosta receives DOE grant for clean energy training

OCEANSIDE — MiraCosta College has been selected as one of the new Industrial Assessment Centers by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a new federal initiative supporting clean energy infrastructure.

The recognition positions MiraCosta College’s Technology Career Institute (TCI) at the forefront of energy innovation and workforce development, according to the school.

Supported by a $2.1 million grant, the IAC project will transform MiraCosta College’s TCI location into the latest San Diego Industrial Assessment Center, which will pioneer accelerated workforce training and develop a curriculum that utilizes cutting-edge technology focused on renewable energy trade programs.

The funding enables TCI to provide these programs at a reduced cost, supplemented with comprehensive support services. This approach, according to the college, aims to foster a more diverse and gender-equitable workforce.

The project includes the establishment of 10 renewable energy startup accelerators at TCI, with profit-sharing contracts designed to sustain the new training model.

“This grant is not just a recognition of MiraCosta College’s dedication to educational excellence and sustainability but also a catalyst for us to significantly contribute to the clean energy sector,” said Sunny Cooke, president and superintendent of MiraCosta College. “We are honored to receive this grant and are eager to train a skilled workforce ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s clean energy economy.”

More than 75% of the funding is earmarked for organizations that serve disadvantaged communities, providing “high-quality job opportunities” for those overcoming employment barriers, according to the school.

The IAC program, with a legacy spanning over four decades, has contributed over 20,000 assessments across the nation’s manufacturing base. The new IACs – encompassing community colleges, trade schools and union training programs – aim to revolutionize the pathway to environmentally sustainable jobs in the country.

Rep. Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano) expressed his excitement about the initiative.

“I’m thrilled to see MiraCosta College selected by the Department of Energy as a new center for Clean Energy Workforce Training,” he said. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I helped pass, MiraCosta will receive funding to train the next generation of the clean energy workforce for in-demand, high-quality jobs here at home, all while improving building and manufacturing efficiency and reducing our emissions. I’m committed to ushering in America’s clean energy future, and I’m grateful that MiraCosta will help lead that transition.”

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides the Department of Energy $97 billion to invest in and accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies throughout the nation.

MiraCosta is set to train over 3,000 students and incumbent manufacturing workers.

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