Center of Excellence for Clean Energy wins $10 million grant

The Center of Excellence for Clean Energy at Centralia College prepares adults to work in energy-related careers. Here, Jake Kinsman works on a turbine runner for Tacoma Power.

The Center of Excellence for Clean Energy at Centralia College prepares adults to work in energy-related careers. Here, Jake Kinsman works on a turbine runner for Tacoma Power.

Centralia College’s Center of Excellence for Clean Energy has been awarded a $10 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The grant will fund the Washington Integrated Sector Employment (WISE) project, which will be spearheaded by three Centers of Excellence to expand training partnerships between community colleges and employers.

“The WISE project represents a statewide collaboration that will serve 1,992 adults and includes eight community and technical colleges, five workforce investment boards, the state’s coordinating agency, the Washington State Labor Council, and more than a dozen major employers,” said Barbara Hins-Turner, executive director of the Center of Excellence for Clean Energy.

“This project is culmination of a multi-year effort to coordinate the public workforce system to support sustainable development in our most critical industries: clean energy, construction, and advanced manufacturing.”

The Centers of Excellence leading the WISE project are:

  • The Center of Excellence for Clean Energy at Centralia College
  • The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing at Everett Community College
  • The Center of Excellence for Construction at Renton Technical College

Centralia College expects to receive $1.8 million from the total $10 million awarded for the WISE project.

WISE brings together the clean energy, construction, and advanced manufacturing sectors to create a cluster that will prepare participants for employment in entry level, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship occupations. It will address the unique needs of unemployed, or under-employed dislocated workers, using innovative and sophisticated strategies.

The grant was announced at an event hosted by Vice President Joe Bidden at the White House on Sept. 29. Vice President Biden was joined by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan during the announcement. In total, 270 community colleges will receive $450 million to expand training partnerships between community colleges and employers as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grantees will partner with 400 employers.

Lecture series at CCEast

Centralia College East in Morton is hosting its annual Lyceum Lecture Series at noon every Wednesday from Oct. 3 to Dec. 3 at the Roxy Theater.

The classes are free and may be taken for college credit or as a community education class. Guests can drop in for one lecture or sign up for the series and attend them all.

To register or for more information, call 360-496-5022.

CCEast Lyceum Lecture Series

Oct. 1 – Wildland Fire Ecology with Aaron Schmidt, Department of Natural Resources

Oct. 8 – Trekking with the Snow Leopard with Steve Caskey

Oct. 15 – Teachings of the Medicine Wheel with Roy Wilson, Honorary Chief of the Cowlitz Tribe

Oct. 22 – Wolves in Washington with Skie Bender, Education Outreach Specialist, Wolf Haven

Oct. 29 – The Biological Renaissance of Mount St. Helens with Ray Yurkewycz, Mount St. Helens Institute

Nov. 5 – The Civilian Conservation Corps in Washington with Janet Oakley, Writer and Historian

Nov. 12 – Landscape Responses to Climate Changes at Mount Rainier with Scott Beason, Geologist at Mt. Rainier National Park

Nov. 19 – A Photographic Hiking Tour Around Mount Adams with Jim Riley

Nov. 26 – The Big Picture: Challenge Course Elements & Philosophy with A.J. Hostak, Cispus Challenge Course Manager

Dec. 3 – Why Wilderness? with Andrea Durham, Recreation Planner and Wilderness Manager

New photo exhibit debuts

Bubble Boy by Lisa Kohlmeier

Bubble Boy by Lisa Kohlmeier

Centralia College is kicking off fall quarter with a new art art exhibit in Washington Hall.

Through Oct. 24, the photography of Lisa Kohlmeier is on display. Kohlmeier is a classroom aide in the college’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, a state-funded preschool program on campus. She is also an accomplished artist and photographer.

IMG_4989“My passion for photography, and the pleasure of creating these images, comes in many forms. As an artist, I am unconventional,” she said of her work. “I have no agenda, I have no particular theme, and I tend to make my own rules!”

Her inspiration comes from many sources and she tends to let moments define themselves.

“Photography is a means, for me, of capturing this life in its many forms of light, and to create art from its gift. A moment in time- captured for eternity,” she said.

The gallery in Washington Hall features a rotating collection of art exhibits. Admission is free and open to all.

Blazer volleyball heats up

The Blazer volleyball season has begun!

Join the Blazers for an action-packed season and a run at the playoffs.

All games are held in the Michael Smith Gymnasium, located inside the Health and Wellness Center (at the corner of Walnut and Iron streets).

Games are free and open to all!

2014 Women’s Volleyball Schedule (Home Games Only)

7 p.m. Sep. 24 – versus Pierce College

7 p.m. Oct. 1 – versus Highline Community College

7 p.m. Oct. 15 – versus Grays Harbor College

7 p.m. Oct. 24 – versus Clark College

7 p.m. Nov. 5 – versus Green River Community College

7 p.m. Nov. 7 – versus Tacoma Community College

7 p.m. Nov. 12 – versus Lower Columbia College

Nov. 21-23 NWAC Championships at Tacoma

Glider makes a 60,000-foot journey

student with capstone project

Blake Wiley shows off the Physics and Engineering Club’s glider.

A crash landing from 60,000 feet is cause for panic, but after tracking their aircraft 9 miles off course into the woods, the students in the Centralia College Physics and Engineering Club were happy to have found their project at all.

“Considering it fell 60,000 feet into a tree, it’s still in really good shape,” said Blake Wiley, one of the students who worked on the project. “It’s just got one little dent.”

One little dent is a small price to pay for the incredible experience the students gained building, testing, and launching a video-equipped glider into the earth’s atmosphere.

The glider was lifted into near space with a large weather balloon. At peak height, the students activated a mechanism to release the balloon, allowing the glider to coast back to earth, collecting data and video of the entire journey.

The project took months of hard work.

“We budgeted $2,500 for parts and logistics, but it ended up costing us $3,000 due to some electronic failures during testing,” Wiley explained. “It turned out to be the most valuable part of the project. We had a problem and we had to figure it out and fix it the most effective way possible. We ended up learning a lot.”

Funding for the project was split evenly between the William Batie Science Endowment, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics grant from the Centralia College Foundation, and the club budget.

The students launched the balloon and glider on a sunny, clear July day near Winlock. Overall, they considered it a rousing success.

“We reached our maximum radio range (23 miles), we were able to detach from the balloon, and our autopilot system successfully flew the plane back when wind pushed it out of radio range,” said Wiley. “We couldn’t have been happier with how it went.”

Now, the students are creating a video of their project and analyzing the data they collected. They are also planning next year’s project: an underwater vehicle.

Outdoor Movie Night is Oct. 3

Bring your blanket and join us at Centralia College for Outdoor Movie Night!


Outdoor Movie Night

Featuring Disney’s “Planes: Fire and Rescue

6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3

Centralia College Clocktower*

 Free admission and popcorn


Please bring your own blankets and chairs. This event is open to everyone; you need not be a Centralia College student to attend.

The event is hosted by Centralia College’s Student Activities Admissions Team.

For more information, call 360-736-9391, ext. 275.

*If there’s rain, the movie will be shown inside the cafeteria.

Fall parenting classes at CC


Centralia College is offering two parenting classes this fall.

Love and Logic Parenting

6-8 p.m. Tuesdays

Sept. 30 – Dec. 2

TEEN/LAX Building

(Corner of Walnut and Iron streets)

$32 per person

Love and Logic Parenting helps parents gain confidence and have more fun while parenting. They learn practical techniques that increase family cooperation through empathy, choices, problem solving, and appropriate consequences. For more information or to register, contact Linda Wilcox at 360-736-9391, ext. 464, or

Parenting in Recovery

2:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesdays

Oct. 1 – Dec. 3


104 S. Rock St., Centralia


This class is designed for parents recovering from substance abuse. Parents will learn the impact of substance abuse on family dynamics, and how to rebuild trusting relationships and renew family bonds. Students will apply recovery principles to parenting while learning about their children’s developmental stages and age-appropriate expectations. For more information or to register, contact Cynthia Waddell at 360-736-9391, ext. 796, or