TUCUMCARI, N.M., April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mesalands Community College will offer a 16-week, one-semester occupational certificate program in Wind Energy Technology this summer, beginning May 6.
Students who enroll in the program will gain hands-on experience on Mesalands' 1.5 megawatt wind turbine located adjacent to the North American Wind Research and Training Center
Students in this summer program will benefit from small class sizes, one-on-one interaction with faculty possessing field experience in the industry, and more opportunities to climb the College's turbine. Financial aid is available for those who qualify, in the form of grants and scholarships.
"The Occupational Certificate program was developed to provide qualifications to a prospective wind energy technician in just one college semester," said Jim Morgan, Director of the North American Wind Research and Training Center at Mesalands Community College.
Graduates of the Occupational Certificate have successfully obtained jobs nationwide, including Duane Harb, a Certified Wind Technician at the Shooting Star Wind Farm in Mullinville, Kansas and Fred Henckel, a Traveling Wind Technician with Granite in Tallahassee, Fla. Other graduates include wind energy technicians at wind farms around the country and one graduate who holds the position of maintenance supervisor at a large wind farm in New Mexico.
Wind Energy is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. The Wind Center at Mesalands Community College is training well-qualified technicians to help meet the need for an estimated 170,000 new positions in the industry by 2030.
The turbine is owned by the College and is dedicated to training and research. It is fully operational and provides power to the facility. The Wind Energy Technology program provides real-world training experience.
"The opportunity to climb the College's General Electric 1.5 megawatt ESS wind turbine is invaluable, and provides students with vital skills that employers are seeking," added Morgan. "Students conduct troubleshooting, preventive maintenance and repairs on the wind turbine."
A typical beginning salary for a technician with a degree (A.A.S) can be $45,000 or more. Areas of employment include Operation and Maintenance (O&M), Traveling Technician, Commissioner, Sales, and Construction. As this industry grows, there will be opportunities for fast-paced advancement leading to careers in management and other exciting opportunities—including working and living overseas.
SOURCE Mesalands Community College