All ninth-graders in Connecticut’s 16 technical high schools are learning about solar energy, renewable energy, and energy conservation — a first step in the schools’ ongoing effort to prepare students for what is hoped to be a boom in "green technology" jobs, reports the Hartford Courant. Still being developed, the curriculum is now mostly theoretical, but it does include some instruction about the types of certification or licensing required for certain jobs and the types of companies looking for such skills. Officials are currently writing a more extensive green jobs curriculum that will teach hands-on skills, such as how to install a photovoltaic solar electric system and solar-thermal hot water systems. The effort is part of Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s "green-collar" initiative that directs state agencies to start training workers for jobs that will protect the environment and improve the state’s economy. The initiative ranges from modernizing job training at the technical schools and community colleges to installing "green" toilets at state parks. But all that takes money, and right now the recession stands in the way of the technical high schools. The funds just aren’t there to buy the equipment they need to teach such skills, said Ray Mencio, an education consultant for the Connecticut technical high school system…

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