Green construction is no fad—it’s a legitimate practice that is transforming the industry. In fact, many argue it is a skill that needs to be cultivated in the next generation of construction professionals. One community college in New Mexico believes this to be true, and is offering a program that helps teach young construction students to go green.

Santa Fe Community College announced last week it was awarded just shy of $1.1 million from the U.S. Dept. of Labor,, Washington, D.C., to help create a program that will teach the skills around green-construction practices to those they call “at-risk” youth, described as those individuals who might not graduate high school.

According to the school, individuals who complete the course will receive a certification in Green Building Construction Skills and an OSHA-30 Construction Industry Card. In addition, they will also receive Adult Basic Education GED Instruction, leading to GED certificate and community service training and post-program follow-up services. This includes assistance with finding employment.

This is another positive step forward for the practice of green construction. Building on the power that new IT (information technology) tools are lending to the process, coupled with new strategies and practices being applied to this strategy, there is little doubt that building green is here to stay.