Friday, July 24, 2009

Seventh Transition Update

Summer 2009, an abundance of rainfall to report. All catchment systems full. This is the true and real analogy for my work with local green business development. In this report I'm going to cover the cornucopia of new action: Transition Hohenwald, New Green Staff and Interns, Permaculture Certification Series, Green Evening Cafe, New Local Green Businesses, New Green Youth Training and New Green Jobs Technical Training Program! All of this is happening right here in Hohenwald, TN!

TRANSITION HOHENWALD: In early June, Hohenwald became the 25th Transition Town in the USA. Hohenwald was featured in the June US Transition Network Newsletter.

NEW GREEN STAFF AND INTERNS: That same week, the Center for Holistic Ecology took on three new staff and 9 interns. We managed this through the Lewis County Hire Youth Program and the Perry County Recovery Package. Governor Phil Bredesen approved a program for residents of Perry County using federal dollars provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

PERMACULTURE CERTIFICATION SERIES: During the last week of June, the Center for Holistic Ecology, through the Sonnenschein Green Initiative (SGI) began hosting its first local Permaculture Certification Course. The course is being offered as a weekend summer Permaculture series, held over 4 weekends in June-July. Over 28 participants enrolled in the training and 17 of them are from local Lewis or Perry Counties. Since 2004 the Center has been sub contracting under the Global Village Institute, offering Permaculture Certification programs in Summertown, TN. Over the years few TN residents attended these trainings. 75% of attendees were from outside TN and 20% were from outside the USA. We're very thrilled to be training local residents. We're even more excited about the blog site for the summer series. Click here to check out the amazing 'social experiment' in blogging now!

GREEN EVENING CAFE: Also in June, SGI hosted the Sixth Green Evening Cafe and presented the third Green Business Award to Alan Graf for becoming a First Generation Partner with TVA.

NEW GREEN BUSINESS: In July, Whol'eco (Whole Ecosystem Designs) started Access Consulting. The business idea draws on the Green Business Incubation Design formulated during the 2008 Financial Permaculture Course. Access Consulting now offers a number of business services that may support local economic development in the City of Hohenwald, and in Lewis and surrounding counties. The consulting services provide clients with varying levels of support with accessing grants, loans, tax incentives, subsidies, professional business certifications and technical trainings. Access's services also include basic business incubation support such as: marketing, start-up projections and green business designs. Access also helps green–up events and existing businesses. The goal is to assist small businesses and communities by providing access to prosperous and sustainable economic development opportunities. Access Consulting offers a full line of services ranging from providing clients with tools and tips, identifying funding opportunities, designing projects, writing and filing applications, administering paperwork, project management, and connecting clients with our professional network of existing green businesses, service providers, technicians and builders.

NEW GREEN INDUSTRY: In April of 2009, the City of Hohenwald renamed an Industrial Park the Eco-Industrial Park. The City and Industrial Board recruited their first occupant of that park, Mantria. The new company recently announced to the local paper that they're hiring 19 people to work at the new BioChar plant.

NEW GREEN YOUTH TRAINING: Also in July, we've been notified that the General Assembly Academy in Hohenwald is now offering an Environmental Science class to 15 or more youth. The Academy intends to teach the youth about Permaculture design strategies.

NEW GREEN JOBS TECHNICAL TRAINING: Also related to education, the Tennessee Technology Center in Hohenwald just announced that they are moving forward with a Green Jobs Technical Training Program. In the Spring they had contracted with Jennifer Dauksha-English to devise a 1290 hour curriculum. The curriculum created includes training in Permaculture, Financial Permaculture, Advanced Permaculture, Bioregionalism, New Green Construction, Green Retrofits, LEED Certification, Passive Solar Design, Solar Installation, Solar Hot Water, Geothermal, Biofuels, Food and Farming Industries and Advanced Training in Green Business Design. Participants will receive a diploma and multiple certifications. The Technology Center is in the process of accepting applications for this new, innovative Green Jobs Technical Training Program. This program will offer one year of education and training in a diverse range of “green” education studies and will educate students in current initiatives in green technology and power. Enrollment is scheduled to begin September 1, 2009. Contact TTC Hohenwald at 931-796-5351 for more information and an application.