EcoApprentice Brings College Students and Businesses Together for the Environment

A soon to be launched, interactive website will unite businesses and college students in an ongoing effort to better the environment. is the brainchild of Richard Halpern, a public high school counselor who drew on 15 years of experience in education to combine two of his passions‚ sustainability and career based education.

EcoApprentice will foster collaboration between college students and businesses in the implementation of sustainable goals. Participating businesses and nonprofits will post EcoChallenges, while students enrolled in participating colleges and universities will post EcoSolutions. This practical collaboration could lead to earning college credits, career based learning experiences and future employment contacts for the students. Moreover, businesses could gain improved efficiency, new ideas and increased profitability.

“We are giving students the opportunity to be part of real business solutions that are good for the planet and their future resumes,” said Halpern. “Businesses stand to richly benefit from the fresh perspectives students can bring to the table. New, out-of-the-box ideas can only bring value to the business community and the environment.”

Thirty Ore. and Wash.-based businesses, including Mt. Hood Meadows and, have already signed on to participate in once it is launched. Additionally, students in Portland State University, School of Business MBA business program have chosen to complete their capstone project, required for graduation‚ on an EcoChallenge that has already materialized through EcoApprentice.

Membership is free for everyone including posting EcoChallenges and EcoSolutions. A variety of revenue models are being considered for specific business users to access the application in the future. Students and nonprofit organizations will always be able to use the service free of charge, and can participate in an unlimited number of EcoChallenges.

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