Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Facility Management Program Addresses Need to Sustainably Update our Country’s New and Old Buildings

New Program Launches in June with Subject Matter from the International Facility Management Association

Denver, Colorado, June 05, 2013 – Across America in small towns and thriving cities, a similar issue is cropping up: aging buildings. While older buildings are often respected for their historical nature, there is often a need to update them for structural reasons, aesthetic purposes and even energy usage. In fact, right now The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) is underway to collect data on the structure, operational characteristics and energy use of 12,000 buildings across the U.S. The data collected is only going to heighten the role of sustainability of buildings, both new and old, around the country.

With new window technology, energy efficiency options, water conservation choices and more, entire cities can improve their sustainability with renovation. Ecotech Institute, the first and only institution entirely focused on green jobs training, is launching its Facilities Management degree in June, which will train professionals to tackle this issue.

The International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), the world’s largest and most widely recognized association for professional facility managers, helped develop the curriculum for Ecotech Institute’s Facility Management Technology degree program. It is an associate’s degree program that will prepare students for careers in the field of facility management, focusing on the operation, maintenance, analysis, auditing and cost of energy management systems. Students will receive instruction that is designed to prepare them to analyze, operate, and maintain mechanical and electrical systems.

According to Ecotech’s Clean Jobs Index, there have been 75,000 jobs posted in the U.S. related to facilities management so far in 2013. To see applicable positions in each state, visit A sample of possible facilities management jobs that graduates of this program could be qualified for include: Energy Manager, Facilities Manager, Maintenance Supervisor, Grounds and Plant Manager.

Ecotech Institute, based in Aurora, Colorado, now has more than 520 students who receive hands-on training in the growing field of sustainability. In addition to Facility Management Technology, Ecotech currently offers the following degree programs:

* Solar Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science

* Wind Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science

* Renewable Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science

* Energy Efficiency Program, Associate of Applied Science

* Electrical Energy Technology, Associate of Applied Science

* Power Utility Technician, Associate of Applied Science

* Business Administration – Sustainability, Associate of Applied Science

About Ecotech Institute:
Ecotech Institute is the first and only college entirely focused on preparing America’s workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainability and is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges. Launched in April 2010 in Denver, Colorado, it offers six highly practical renewable energy degree programs that provide graduates with skills valued by today’s alternative renewable energy employers. Classes start once per quarter and applications are always accepted. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify. Ecotech Institute is a division of Education Corporation of America. For more information about Ecotech Institute, visit or call 877-326-5576.

Jenny Foust
Communications Strategy Group
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

Colorado HealthOP Appoints Dr. Jack Westfall as Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Westfall Will Develop New Health Promotion Model Focused on Collaboration Among Healthcare Providers and CO-OP Members

Denver, CO, June 05, 2013 - In an effort to build a health insurance model that helps its members be sustainably healthy, Colorado HealthOP, Colorado’s first statewide nonprofit health insurance cooperative (CO-OP), has engaged a leading expert in family medicine and rural health as its new chief medical officer. Jack Westfall, MD, MPH, will lead Colorado HealthOP’s efforts to support member health needs by building a robust statewide network of care, developing Colorado HealthOP’s integrated care model and population health programs, and optimizing the CO-OP’s clinical effectiveness.

“The aspiration to partner with patients and providers around improving health is a key concept of the CO-OP,” said Julia Hutchins, CEO of Colorado HealthOP. “Dr. Westfall’s expertise in family medicine, preventive care and rural health coupled with his experience in community health promotion will allow us to make this idea a reality for our members.”

Colorado HealthOP offers quality, affordable Colorado insurance plans to residents of the state, with a special focus on rural areas. As the CO-OP’s chief medical officer, Dr. Westfall will lead the development of a new model for promoting health. While insurance companies have historically provided support for when people are ill, Colorado HealthOP, led by Dr. Westfall, will build an environment that not only provides “sick care,” but also supports healthy living. In an effort to optimize Colorado HealthOP’s potential to be an enabler of health rather than a barrier to care, Dr. Westfall will work with healthcare providers to maximize quality of care and minimize bureaucracy associated with claims. He will additionally lend his expertise to the CO-OP’s benefit design to ensure that the benefit structure supports prevention and health maintenance.

“Colorado HealthOP is building a collaboration among the group that pays, the group that provides and the patient who needs healthcare; these three groups that have historically worked separately and at odds with one another now work together in our model,” said Dr. Westfall. “In Colorado HealthOP’s model, we will take existing concepts and constructs that have been shown to support health, pull them together into one organization and implement them in Colorado.“

Dr. Westfall serves as clinical professor of family medicine for the University of Colorado School of Medicine, an institution where he has held multiple teaching appointments since 1995, served as associate dean for rural health from 2004 to 2013, and was the Patrick and Kathleen Thompson endowed chair in rural health from 2008 to 2013. Board certified in family practice, Dr. Westfall has served as a family physician at the Yuma Clinic in Yuma, Colo., at Plains Medical Center in Limon, Colo. and for Rose Family Medicine in Denver. He is the founder and director of the High Plains Research Network, a practice and community based network that aims to improve health in eastern Colorado. He has also served as director of community engagement for the Colorado Clinical Translational Science Institute, a collaboration among the University of Colorado Denver, University of Colorado Boulder, and multiple healthcare and community organizations with a goal to accelerate the application of research into improved patient care and public health.

Dr. Westfall is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, the American Public Health Association, the Colorado Public Health Association, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Colorado Rural Health Center and the National Rural Health Association.

Among other awards, Dr. Westfall has received the Chancellor’s Diversity Award from the University of Colorado Denver and the North American Primary Care Research Group President’s Award.

Dr. Westfall received his doctorate and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Kansas. He completed his internship in internal medicine and pediatrics at the Wichita Center for Graduate Medical Education and completed his residency at the University of Colorado, Department of Family Medicine, where he also served as chief resident.

About Colorado HealthOP:
Colorado HealthOP offers a new alternative to traditional health insurance in Colorado. A nonprofit health insurance cooperative, Colorado HealthOP and its members are committed to providing affordable, quality coverage to individuals and employers interested in making a difference in their own health, their employees’ health and the health of their community. Colorado HealthOP aims to improve health outcomes by putting the responsibility for consumers’ care back into the hands of the cooperative’s members and providers. A private market solution tailored for individuals and employers, Colorado HealthOP will begin open enrollment on October 1, 2013 via Connect for Health Colorado, Colorado’s health insurance marketplace, and through independent brokers and agents. Coverage will begin January 1, 2014. For more information about Colorado HealthOP, please visit or call 720.627.8900.

Shannon Fern
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

Research shows gap between how job seekers view their own employability and what employers value

Bryant & Stratton College Online will host a live online event on July 19 with HR experts from CareerBuilder and top employers like Marriott Hotels and Microsoft to discuss employability and advice for job seekers

Buffalo, NY, June 05, 2013 – Research shows there is a gap between how job seekers view their own employability skills and what employers value. According to a new survey from Bryant & Stratton College Online and Wakefield Research, 80 percent of 18-34 year olds feel they are job ready and possess all the skills, experience, and education needed to advance in their desired career path or obtain their next job. Comparatively, data released by global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company found almost 40 percent of employers attribute the main reason for job openings to lack of skills among entry-level applicants. The research indicates that college students and young employees have inflated assumptions about their own career readiness in today’s job market. To help connect individuals looking for a job understand what employers want, Bryant & Stratton College Online today announced a free career information webinar titled “Job Ready or Not?” as part of its ongoing Employability Series. The event will be streamed live online on July 19 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Other results from the Bryant & Stratton College Online survey show how far out of step young job seekers are from employers. For example, only 16 percent of 18-34 year olds believe improving their soft skills will have the greatest impact on their career advancement. However, a survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found 93 percent of employers said soft skills such as critical thinking, communicating clearly and complex problem solving are weighed more heavily in the hiring process than an individual’s undergraduate major. The contrasting data underlines a key oversight for job seekers.

“This event is an opportunity for anyone in the midst of a job search – students, new graduates or people looking for a career change – to hear directly from employers about what factors they consider before hiring,” said Scott Traylor, Associate Campus Director for Online Education at Bryant & Stratton College. “Being employable today is all about knowing how to communicate to employers that you have IQ as well as EQ. Our experts will share useful anecdotes, practical tips and new ideas so attendees will have the best information to make themselves stand out in a crowded marketplace.”

The “Job Ready or Not?” event will feature a panel of hiring and human resources experts from CareerBuilder, Enterprise, Humana, Marriott Hotels and Microsoft. In addition to giving attendees a look into the mind of an employer, the speakers will also offer resume help, practical tips for interview preparation, ideas for using social media in the job search and advice on how to communicate important soft skills during the hiring process. The event will be live streamed for free on July 19 from the Bryant & Stratton College campus in Buffalo, New York between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Those interested in joining online can register at A recorded version of the event will be available for download afterward.

“Job seekers need to start marketing themselves based on the skills, competencies and traits employers need and value most,” said Beth Tarquino, Chief Academic Officer at Bryant & Stratton College. “Too often the background experience and soft-skills attributes needed to successfully look for a job are underestimated, especially by college students and new graduates. Searching for a job can become a fulltime job, but putting in the extra work to understand hiring trends and needs of employers is worth it.”

For more information about the “Job Ready or Not?” event and what employers are looking for in job candidates, watch this video.

This event is part of the Bryant & Stratton College Employability Series, a program dedicated to helping students become career-ready upon graduation. By focusing on the development of employability skills, the College purposefully helps students develop technical, industry-specific knowledge as well as soft skills. To learn more about Bryant & Stratton College, its online degree programs and the Employability Series, go to Bryant & Stratton College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

About Bryant & Stratton College Online:
Bryant & Stratton College is a private career college delivering outcomes-based education and training through a flexible, contemporary curriculum in a personalized environment.  The College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and has locations in New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as an Online Education division, and a Professional Skill Center. For almost 160 years, Bryant & Stratton College has been providing real world education leading to bachelor’s and associate’s degrees and professional certificates. Bryant & Stratton College Online offers five online bachelor’s degree programs, eleven online associate’s degree programs and eleven online certificate programs in a variety of fields including business, criminal justice, financial services, healthcare, human resources and information technology. Some online programs are not yet available in all states. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of graduates and other important information, please visit  General information about Bryant & Stratton College and its online degrees can also be found at

Anne Jenkins
Communications Strategy Group
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206