Penn College/WVIA documentary explores green career options

“When you’re in high school, and you’re thinking about a career, you could think about what’s just going to make you a lot of money, or you could think about something that you’re going to be happy doing for the rest of your life.”

This advice, from a Pennsylvania College of Technology graduate working at one of the world’s great gardens, is offered in “Working Class: Build & Grow Green,” an hour-long documentary premiering Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. on WVIA Public Media.

The second episode of a Telly Award-winning series produced by Penn College and WVIA, “Working Class: Build & Grow Green” invites viewers to consider a wide range of options available to those who are considering “green” careers, which support wise use of natural resources.

“Millennials are really, really focused on sustainability issues,” said one faculty member interviewed for the film, which explores opportunities related to architecture and sustainable design, building construction and construction management, building automation, electrical technology/power generation, heating/ventilation/air conditioning, forestry and horticulture.

Two Penn College graduates who work as senior gardeners at Longwood Gardens, Lauren Hoderny-Hill and April Bevans, appear in the episode, along with Shawn A. Mayberry, a construction management student, who describes the Department of Energy’s Race to Zero student design competition project that will benefit families served by a community nonprofit agency.

Segments were filmed at Penn College’s main campus and Schneebeli Earth Science Center, as well as Longwood Gardens and Hills Creek State Park, Wellsboro, where the cameras followed a group of environmental science students from Montoursville Area High School.

Two acclaimed authors also appear in “Working Class: Build & Grow Green.” They are children’s book author and illustrator Henry Cole and environmentalist author Rick Bass, who visited the Penn College campus and spoke as part of its Technology and Society Colloquia Series last spring.

Penn College faculty members interviewed for the film are Andrew Bartholomay, forestry; Carl J. Bower, horticulture; Deb A. Buckman, chemistry/environmental science; Geoffrey M. Campbell, architectural technology; D. Robert Cooley, anthropology/environmental science; Michael A. Dincher, horticulture; Dorothy J. Gerring, architectural technology; Eric C. Easton, forestry; Jon W. Hart, electrical technology; Bradley Q. Kishbaugh, HVAC technology; Dale J. Kissinger, HVAC technology; Ken C. Kuhns, electrical technology; Brad M. Martin, construction management; Richard M. Sarginger, building construction technology Faculty; Dennis P. Skinner, horticulture; Richard C. Taylor, HVAC technology, and Todd S. Woodling, building automation.

Describing the importance of sustainability, conservation and energy use in 21st-century careers, one faculty member said: “Everything that we do today will affect what happens next year and the year after and a hundred years from now. If we do our job well, then we’ve impacted future generations in a very positive manner.”

Following the broadcast premiere on WVIA, the episode will be available for viewing online at http://workingclass.tv/. The website also features a producer’s blog and educational resources selected to help K-12 teachers link classroom activities with the series.

The audience may follow “WorkingClassTVSeries” on Facebook and “workingclass-tv” on Twitter and share comments via social media.

The premiere episode of “Working Class” was awarded a 2016 Bronze Telly Award and appeared on WHYY and MindTV in Philadelphia, WQED in Pittsburgh, WLVT in Allentown and WPSU in State College, in addition to WVIA.

Executive producers for the series are Elaine Lambert and Tom Curra. The series’ director is Christopher Leigh.

Penn College students involved in filming and editing this episode are Jeffrey A. Stanley, of Stewartstown, and Colin B. Helm, of Montoursville.