Sarah Buente

At USGBC, we are dedicated to greening higher education, and we concentrate on those who stand the most to gain from this—our university and college students. In support of this, we are committed to preparing students for 21st century careers in sustainability by delivering competency-based education and providing innovative solutions for today’s curriculum so we can build the next generation of sustainability leaders.

Today’s generation of college students are more focused than ever before on jobs—and are seeking jobs in sustainability at a rapidly increasing rate. Consider the following:

  • More than 70 percent of college students and 50 percent of workers are looking for jobs with social impact.
  • By 2038, the United States will generate 4.2 million new green jobs, five times today’s total count.
  • As many as 80 percent of young professionals would like to work in a green job.
  • 61 percent of prospective college students said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend a school.

But what students are currently learning at the college or university level isn’t necessarily what the industry or their future employers are looking for. With these facts in mind, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC created LEED Lab to better prepare our students to be ready for careers post-graduation. A multidisciplinary immersion course, LEED Lab utilizes the built environment to educate and prepare students to become green building leaders and sustainability-focused citizens. In the course, students learn the principles of LEED by choosing one building where they lead and facilitate the entire LEED O+M process and are prepared to sit for and take the LEED AP O+M exam.

Through participation in LEED Lab, students are equipped with career-ready skills, knowledge and expertise that can be quickly deployed upon completion of the course. The course goes far beyond providing students with just an understanding of LEED and green building concepts. Students learn valuable project management skills; develop effective interpersonal, communication and problem solving skills; learn how to work on a team; and enjoy leadership opportunities—skills that are applicable to any professional field.

Launch a LEED Lab on your campus, and help us train the next generation of leaders! 

Learn more about LEED Lab