Students Seek to Transform Vermont into “Green Valley”

The Vermont Campus Energy Group (VCEG) is an organization dedicated to the advancement of the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. According to Aaron Menkin, the group’s founder, these emerging industries allow entrepreneurs to follow their hearts and wallets, enjoying lucrative careers while remaining socially conscious.

Last summer, while working for a large investment bank, Menkin caught wind of a project designed to investigate the merits of utilizing alternative energy sources to power various types of buildings around the country. It was through this experience that Menkin realized that environmental industry was gaining momentum in the professional world.

One of Menkin’s goals in creating this organization has been to make UVM a recruitment center for environmentally-oriented companies. According to Menkin, the university has an “opportunity to develop a niche in this emerging field.” Menkin drew a comparison to the University of Pennsylvania’s focus on finance, and expressed hope that UVM would become the nation’s collegiate epicenter for green industry.

To this end, VCEG has planned a Green Job Fair for Wednesday, March 15th, from 12:00 to 4:30 in the Billings Student Center. Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie will be opening the event with remarks, immediately followed by a professional panel discussion, entitled “Emerging Opportunities in Sustainable Energy

Solutions.” Students will then be able to meet with representatives from participating firms and organizations to discuss internship and career opportunities.

By hosting the fair, VCEG hopes to inform students about the career opportunities that the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries offer, the qualifications students will need to pursue opportunities in those industries, and the actions students can take now to get involved in those industries.

Vermont Governor Jim Douglass shares a common goal with VCEG: to make Vermont known nationwide for being a leader in environmental technology and business. Douglass frequently cites the number of young Vermonters leaving the state as an omen of economic trouble ahead, and wishes to combat this problem by making Vermont the Silicon Valley of environmental industry.

Lt. Governor Dubie also supports this vision – in fact, he presented an economic plan in 2004 purporting to label Vermont as the nation’s “Green Valley” – a haven for environmental technology. Together, a coalition of sponsoring organizations and individuals, including Dubie, VCEG, and the Vermont Environmental Consortium, hope that the Green Job Fair will take Vermont one step closer to becoming an environmental Mecca for the nation’s businesses.

The Green Job Fair will start at 12:00 PM on March 15th, in the Billings Student Center.