While the majority of ARRA funds were dedicated to large construction projects like new dorms, new vocational buildings, and countless energy-efficient renovations to many Job Corps centers, sustainability was also achieved behind the scenes with the purchase of electric vehicles, training simulators, and new computers.
Sixteen centers in the Atlanta Region received $828,800 to purchase electric vehicles and are using the smaller, low-speed utility vehicles for daily tasks like security-patrols. Larger, electric-powered vehicles like trucks and vans are used for transporting students, maintenance materials, and training supplies around campuses.
Electric vehicles are also helping centers reduce fuel costs. Overall, Job Corps is hoping to save $3 million to $5 million in fuel costs alone by 2012 – following full implementation of all-electric vehicles.
For example, Job Corps centers in the Atlanta Region and throughout the country are maximizing the use of electric vehicles by replacing gas-powered cars that were once used for security-patrols and other various maintenance tasks around campuses with energy-efficient models like GEM cars, vans, and trucks.
New training devices such as welding and driver training simulators are also helping reduce fuel consumption and eliminating the wear and tear of GSA vehicles.
Specifically, 10 centers in the Atlanta Region received $194,230 to purchase simulators, allowing students to train year-round and gain exposure to unexpected scenarios – making them better, more prepared drivers.
Students at the Turner Job Corps Center, in Albany, Ga., are learning safe driving techniques while practicing in various weather conditions like snow, ice, and heavy wind – conditions that may not be typical in Georgia, but still important for students to learn how to cope with if necessary. By utilizing driving simulators, Job Corps centers are giving students valuable driving experience while also reducing fuel costs and driver education automobile maintenance.
Job Corps used ARRA funds to purchase 11,028 new PCs to replace older models. In the Atlanta Region, 13 centers purchased 1,539 new, energy-efficient computers that meet Federal Desktop Core Configuration, Energy Star, and EPEAT requirements.