April 2021 Newsletter

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The Workforce Implicit Bias Training Institute is an in-person and online training platform for the workforce education system in Washington State, to develop working tools and processes to identify and reduce unconscious biases that hinder student, apprentice, faculty, and leadership success and enrich the overall campus, learning and training environments.
The project is led by the Washington State Centers of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology, Construction, Careers in Education, Agriculture & Natural Resource, and the Machinists Institute.
Upcoming webinar:
  • Introduction to Inclusive Pedagogy With Gretchen Robertson and Kip Zwolenski, Wednesday – April 21, 2021, 10:00 am – 11:00 am

With more than $1.6 billion in annual market value (2017), agriculture is a major economic force in Washington’s Benton and Franklin Counties.  As such, a host of major agricultural employers, including J.R. Simplot Company, ConAgra Foods and Lamb Weston, fuel an ongoing demand for a workforce skilled in the use of agricultural technology.

To meet that need, Columbia Basin College (CBC) is expanding its agriculture program with a new Associate in Applied Science in Agriculture Production degree started in fall 2020. Students pursuing this two-year program will earn three certificates (Crop & Soil, Precision Agriculture and Hydroponics & Greenhouse Management).

Given the widespread use of precision crop production throughout the Columbia Basin, a thorough understanding of modern technologies is essential for agricultural graduates to succeed in their future careers. These careers may include work as field personnel, precision agronomists, irrigation specialists, agricultural technicians, consultants and more. CBC’s program offers hands-on training, dynamic curriculum and internship opportunities which will make graduates employable and valuable to the local workforce. In May 2020, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) provided CBC’s Agriculture program with $494,767 through the Career Connect Washington Career Launch program, which will provide students hands-on experience with the latest technology sought by today’s employers. The new equipment will not only support coursework in CBC’s new AAS in Agriculture Production degree program, but all Ag degree programs, including their Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree in Applied Management with a concentration in Agriculture.

The equipment includes a customized multi-crop research harvester, a windrower, hay baler, two hydroponics systems, a disc, packer, irrigation system and control panel, and two agricultural drones. The single-plot harvester is equipped with dual seats to provide direct instruction from an instructor. It also has updated technology to measure moisture and provide other information regarding harvested crops. These equipment additions and upgrades will expose students to advanced agricultural experiences that would be difficult to provide otherwise. These advancements will allow students exposure to real work experiences and help them hit the ground running in a high-demand field with good salary potential.

Although the agriculture industry is a high-demand field in the Columbia Basin and surrounding areas, it is often associated by the public with low-income careers. People think agriculture is picking apples and working in the hot sun. But it’s more than that. It’s employing technology to be more efficient in using the resources needed to create a higher yield. Access to the industry’s latest technologies will help combat negative stereotypes and pique interest in agriculture careers.

For more information, visit www.columbiabasin.edu/agriculture

Provided by Columbia Basin College

Sustainability is a concept, a discipline, an ideal. It is the recognition that the prosperity of our planet, our people, and our economy are inextricably linked. By blending coursework in natural sciences, environmental studies, social sciences, management, and technology, Cascadia College’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Practices (BASSP) provides a pathway to careers in the green industry.  With much of our society concerned about environmental justice, the climate crisis, corporate accountability for sustainable action, and personal environmental impacts, Cascadia’s Sustainable Practices degree program prepares students for a variety of high-demand green careers throughout Washington and beyond, with a sustainability and environmental studies focused education!

Cascadia’s BAS program is set up to accommodate students with busy lives, jobs, and families. You’ll only need to come to campus 2-3 times per week between the hours of 3:30-7:50 p.m. – and currently during the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning and accessibility for our students is paramount in their education journey. Students can also choose between full-time and part-time tracks to match their needs.   Our graduates have found positions in a wide variety of careers within the green industry or continued to graduate school.  You can read about our graduates and student internships here!

You can learn about our faculty, program, classes, and application process here!

Students interested in sustainable practices who do not meet the minimum requirements are encouraged to look at our associate program in Environmental Technology and Sustainable Practices (ETSP) – which has a direct pathway into the BASSP program!  Environmental Technology focuses on sustainability in the built environment and society, helping students learn about energy management and sustainable practices in society.

Our campus focuses on sustainability and permaculture and food accessibility.  It was rated #1 in the nation for Sustainable Grounds by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) STARS report.  AASHE rates and ranks colleges and universities across the nation in a myriad of categories for sustainability. Each year, they put out a report of the top-ranked schools, along with individual colleges’ reports, under their Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System (STARS).

You can read about our campus’s sustainable elements on our blog.

Provided by Cascadia College