Kankakee Community College Setting off a Spark of Renewable Energy

By Mary Stroka, Staff Writer

Kankakee Community College (KCC), about 66 miles southwest of Chicago, has taken a lot of steps towards being at the forefront of educating students and community members in the Midwest about green technology.

Its exemplary Electrical Technology program, which includes a renewable energy track, was selected as the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s (IREC) 2014 Accredited Clean Energy Training Provider of the Year. It is the first community college to receive the award.

IREC has a 21-year history of presenting awards to distinguished innovators that promote the growth of renewable energy. This year was the first time winners were chosen by the public. The institutions vying for the training provider recognition and other awards had to apply for nomination over the summer, and the winners were announced in October at the 2014 Solar Power International conference. The application included three parts that needed to be proved with short-answer responses: innovation and leadership, results, and replicability. Voters from the roughly 10,000 recipients of IREC newsletters selected KCC from a group of four nominees for the award.