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Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations

DCC RECOGNIZED FOR SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AT STATE CONFERENCE

 

Jerry Franklin holding Crystal Award

Jerry Franklin, Director of Manufacturing and Technical Services, holds the Crystal Award DCC received for its energy and sustainability programs.

DANVILLE, VA, March 26, 2013 – Danville Community College was recognized recently for its sustainability programs at the Virginia Commonwealth University Energy and Sustainability Conference held in Richmond. The College received the Crystal Award, which recognizes leadership in the areas of energy and sustainability. Jerry Franklin, Director of Manufacturing and Technical Services, accepted the award on behalf of the DCC.


“We feel we have an effective and innovative program in place to guide our students, faculty and community to develop new sustainable habits and appreciate this opportunity for recognition of our efforts.,” Franklin said

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Franklin noted the following initiatives in place that focus on energy and sustainability:


1. “Sustainability Scholars” program, in which an award is earned upon completion of 15 credits from courses designated as having at least 20 percent sustainability content. Sustainability content includes environmental science, alternative energy technologies (electric vehicles, bio-fuels, storage, solar, geothermal, low-head hydro, etc.), conservation, and improvement in “Environmental Performance Index” variables i.e. Environmental Health, Ecosystem Vitality, Productive Natural Resource Sustainability and Climate Change. Curricula impacted by this designation include Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Computer-Aided Drafting and Design, Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology, Automotive Analysis and Repair, and Building Trades.

2. Career Studies Certificate program has been developed and focuses on Alternative Energy Technologies to meet the workforce needs of local sustainability-related companies. Danville has both a LiFePO4 battery company and a solar panel manufacturer that need workers trained in these sustainable technologies. DCC’s battery technology course is rare among community colleges. The program also has courses in solar installation, energy conservation and wind energy generation. So far, approximately 55 students have taken classes in these technologies.

3. Funding for professional development in sustainability topics. A portion of the college’s professional development budget is designated specifically toward training and education in sustainability topics. As an example, faculty members have been trained at UL Labs in the solar installation facility.

4. DCC is a member of the Virginia Weatherization Center (VWC), and has trained contractors in home weatherization techniques. Four Danville and Martinsville homes, in need of weatherization, were used as learning platforms where $1,000 of material improvements were made in each home. Twelve contractors received BPI (Building Performance Institute) certification through the course work at DCC and the VWC. Funding was provided by VWC and the Dan River Regional Collaborative.

5. DCC’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society has instituted a recycling program on campus that has successfully recycled paper, plastic, aluminum, electronics and printer cartridges. Students also have a textbook recycling program to recycle used textbooks through the “Better World Books Project”. Students routinely car pool for out of town trips as well as local commutes to campus.

6. The DCC Automotive and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Departments recover and recycle refrigerants from home and auto air conditioners, using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved techniques and equipment. Also, materials such as paint, motor, transmission and gear oils, paint thinner, antifreeze, etc. are collected and recycled through an approved commercial materials recycler. In addition, chemicals from DCC’s chemical laboratories are controlled and regulated by policies of the DCC Chemical Hygiene Committee.

7. On campus, DCC is constantly seeking ways to improve energy efficiency of its buildings. Annual energy savings are tracked through improvements, such as upgrading of lighting for efficiency, automatic occupancy sensors, low-flow water fixtures and weatherization of buildings.

In the community, Franklin said DCC also developed and led a community initiative in a novel and innovative approach to reduce auto pollution, save gasoline, and improve fitness among community citizens. The program, known as “E Bike Danville®”, is a collaboration led by DCC’s Workforce Services Office with the Danville Science Center, City of Danville, Virginia Tech Extension, LifeBatt Battery Company, Spin Bike Shop, Gerhardt Engineering. The Dan River Regional Foundation providing funding.

E Bike Danville® studies and promotes the use of electric bicycles as a practical substitute for automobiles. The first phase studied the practicality of using e-bikes for local commuting such as work, shopping, errands or visiting friends. During the summer of 2012, DCC loaned e-bikes to 24 volunteer evaluators for two-week periods to use in place of their cars. Evaluators were asked to keep a journal of all round-trip rides and report their findings.

The E-Bike Danville® study, which was recently released, indicated that e bikes are a practical means of transportation for short (less than 20 miles) trips. An e bike is 18 times less polluting than an automobile, and riders save money on gasoline, insurance, maintenance and registration of a car. In addition, health and fitness is improved, since e bikes assist the rider, when needed, on hills and windy conditions.

The E Bike Danville® program has gained statewide, national and international attention for its innovative approach to using e bikes as regular transportation. In addition, DCC is developing a certificate program in collaboration with the Light Electric Vehicle Association, (LEVA), which will be presented nationally to e bike dealers and manufactures to train technicians to repair e bikes and other motorized vehicles. The training program should be ready to begin summer 2013.

For more information about DCC programs and services to foster sustainability habits, please contact Jerry Franklin, at 434.797.8573; toll free at 800.560.4291 ext. 8573; or click here.

 

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