Obama and Intel Put Money on Green Graduates

Posted by Nikhil Swaminathan

green-graduateIn an attempt to get the U.S. back its edge in technology and innovation, Intel is spearheading an effort to proffer $3.5 billion to invest in clean technology, biotech and IT startups. In addition to those funds, the consortium is working to create more than 10,000 jobs in these fields for students graduating from college next year.

Ben Parr over at the blog Mashable says the so-called Invest in America Alliance is a good start, but that it's not a silver bullet:

Still, it doesn't solve the root problem, which is American students choosing not to study technology-related majors. That requires more than money and commitments - it requires a shift in perception and education that has to start at the grade school level and continue all the way through college.

Enter President Obama, who last week proposed a program called RE-ENERGYSE, which stand for "Regaining our Energy Science and Engineering Edge." (Ben Jervey wrote about the proposed program last summer.) The point: to encourage colleges, universities, and K-12 programs to start educating students on clean energy issues. In its budget request for 2011, the Obama administration asked for an initial investment of $74 million to put toward these programs.

Teryn Norris, a senior advisor at the Breakthrough Institute, and a supporter of the idea, recently praised the budget request on The Huffington Post. He also announced the creation of a grassroots effort among students to make sure RE-ENERGYSE makes it through Congress in 2010.
In the current political climate, RE-ENERGYSE needs a strong base of support to pass Congress, and as the primary stakeholders in the program, young people can be particularly influential in organizing a coalition of supporters and directly voicing their concerns to members of Congress.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user bredgur