Laney College

Laney Receives $3.6 Million Renewal Grant from NSF

Laney Receives $3.6 Million Renewal Grant from NSF

June 2, 2017


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Dolores M. Bernal
Laney Public Information Officer
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(OAKLAND, CA) – Laney College’s BEST Center has been awarded a $3.6 million renewal grant from the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Division of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund operations of the BEST Center for an additional five years. Laney received its first ATE National Center grant to establish the BEST Center in 2012. The Center’s mission is to support the development of community college career education programs in energy efficient commercial heating and air conditioning, building automation systems, and energy management.


The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program strengthens the skills of technicians whose work is vitally important to the nation’s prosperity and security. The BEST Center is grounded in ATE’s mission and continues to grow from a passionate, active base of over 60 faculty members from community and technical colleges across the U.S., including Oakland.


“The renewal grant provides welcome support and a beacon of light to remind college faculty across the country that they are not alone.  There are exciting times ahead, and building operations is a viable pathway for students to high-paying jobs that make a positive impact on the environment,” said Peter Crabtree, BEST Center Principal Investigator and Laney College Dean of Career and Technical Education. “There is an urgent need to expand the number of technical programs preparing students for careers in a growing industry experiencing both rapid innovation and a workforce where the median age of workers is 55. The BEST Center tries to address the needs of the educators who are charged with meeting industry demands,”


Prior to 2012, Laney College’s Environmental Control Technology department received two NSF project grants, which helped to provide the foundation for the Center’s work. Since then, the BEST Center has organized annual institutes, regional workshops, and webinars to showcase the work and expertise of team members from Laney College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Georgia Piedmont Technical College, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


“The BEST Center has proven to be an anchor for Laney College in the world of building operations and energy efficiency. We are proud of the accomplishments of the Center’s team and the collaboration with other educators across the nation,” said Tammeil Gilkerson, Laney College President. “Most of all, I’m grateful that the NSF continues to actively support innovation and is committed to ensuring students in Oakland have access to an advanced, technical education leading to promising careers.”


About the BEST Center
The BEST Center (Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow) at Laney College supports faculty & staff of public, post-secondary career & technical education programs in HVAC, building automation, building performance and facilities/energy management. It receives base funding from the National Science Foundation. For more information, go to: or contact: Pamela Wallace, BEST Center Director at

About Laney College

Located in the heart of Oakland, Laney is one of four colleges in the Peralta Community College District. Laney offers over 100 high-quality academic and career technical education programs to an estimated 11,000 students. To learn more about Laney College visit,


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1700705.