FROSTBURG, Maryland, September 14, 2007-- The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced approval of a grant in the amount of $45,816 today to Frostburg State University (FSU) for its Wind-Solar Energy (WISE) Certified Education Program.
University officials anticipate that 24 local contractors and entrepreneurs will enroll in the program, which will enable them to expand opportunities for their businesses and increase local employment.
Frostburg State University will utilize its solar and wind powered residential electric generation systems in the development of this certificate program, which will include workshops on wind generation and PV solar installation.
Each workshop will consist of 8 weeks of interactive online instruction and 3 days of conventional instruction at FSU, including hands-on training and laboratory work. Workshop participants will be prepared to take the certification test offered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) for solar and wind installation. The program will also utilize the Wind-Solar Energy (WISE) system installed on the FSU campus.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne Pope explained that the grant was the latest step in the implementation of ARC’s regional initiative promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. “This certified education program will train people for jobs in the growing energy sector,” Pope said. “That is what our initiative is all about. Frostburg State University, with its innovative solar and wind systems, is an ideal partner to help us move our initiative forward in the Region.”
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett welcomed the grant to FSU. “I am so proud and it is wonderful to be present as a speaker at Frostburg’s Renewable Energy Conference for the exciting announcement that FSU has received a highly competitive $45,816 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for its Wind-Solar Energy (WISE) Certified Education Program,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to welcome ARC Co-Chair Anne Pope on one of her frequent visits to western Maryland. I am glad that I can personally congratulate FSU President Jonathan Gibralter for winning this award. This grant recognizes that FSU is a leader in meeting the greatest challenge of the 21st century to develop alternative, renewable sources of energy.”
Senator Barbara Mikulski noted that “Maryland is an innovation economy. We must create the building blocks to make the discoveries and the changes our planet needs to survive that will carry us into the next decade. This includes investing in renewable energy. I’m so proud of Frostburg State University. This funding is an investment in Western Maryland communities, in science education, and in our future.”
Senator Benjamin Cardin said, "Alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power are the key to achieving energy independence for our nation. This ARC grant to Frostburg State University will create a new, important certification program that will train workers and businesses for jobs in the growing energy field."
FSU President Jonathan Gibralter said, “Frostburg State University is extremely grateful for this valuable assistance from the ARC to our WISE project and to FSU’s overall efforts to make this a greener world. It allows us to continue our efforts to find grass-roots ways to reduce dependence on fossil fuels while also providing career opportunities for members of our community.”
In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $93,379, bringing the total project funding to $139,195.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.