By ELIZABETH MATTHEWS
A conference focused on green technology is turning teachers into students.
The annual Four State Regional Technology Conference is beginning at Pittsburg State University and runs through Friday. The two day event educates teachers on the latest in sustainability and how to teach green initiatives.
"Green literacy is something that is important and we are starting to steer more and more customers to that direction in terms of what their career options may look like," says Jasen Jones, Director of the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri.
Green jobs are said to be our nation's future and teachers know that they must educate their students on being green.
Gibbens teaches computer aided design and wood design to high school students.
"It's coming up more and more now because our industry is gearing more to the green movement and we are trying to prepare our students for the possibility of future jobs," says Sara Gibbens.
Pitsco, a local company, is on hand at the conference educating teachers about ways to teach about energy efficiency. One product specialist says he considers what he does a green job.
"We are helping to educate students providing ideas and different products that they can use within the green jobs arena," says Bill Holden of Pitsco.
He considers being a teacher is also a green job. As for those jobs in the four states.
"There's not a tremendous amount but there's going to be more as the alternative energy solutions come more towards the midwest into smaller communities there will be more and more green jobs," says Holden.
"The Joplin area really stands at a strong competitive position to produce the products and services that are used in green functions in other parts of the country," says Jones.
While the four states may not be on the cutting edge of green job creation, there is hope with the manufacturing and trucking experience in the four states.