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Sunday, May 1, 2016

WITCC Wind Energy Program to the fore

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cherokee Washington High School students had the opportunity last week to tour one of Western Iowa Tech Community College's custom-built mobile classrooms utilized for business and industry outreach training. and the college's Wind Energy Program. The high-tech educational tool is used by WITCC to help train students in the burgeoning wind energy industry. Here, WHS students, left to right, Jared Conover, Jacob Hofer, and Jesse Fischer visit with WITCC Wind Technology Program Coordinator Chad Plante. Photo by Mike Leckband
The number of wind turbines in Iowa and the United States continues to increase, as does the need for skilled workers able to install, maintain, service, and operate them.

The Wind Energy Technician Program at Western Iowa Tech Community College encompasses the skill sets needed as a technician and/or operator, depending upon the career path chosen by a participating student.

Wind is the fastest growing energy source in the United States, with wind energy production increasing daily at amazing rates. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that it could contribute 20 percent of the nation's electricity by year 2030.

The wind energy courses offered by WITCC help individuals develop an understanding of wind energy turbine systems, hydraulic systems, electrical motor controls, industrial electrical systems, instrumentation, gauging and measurement, safety standards and procedures, crane riggng and directing.

Graduates of a wind energy technician program can pursue a career in installation and commissioning of wind energy systems; operation, maintenance, and repair of wind turbine systems; site safety management; project site management; wind farm management; and wind site assessment.

The WITCC Administration has pledged to locate its entire Wind Energy Program in Cherokee after local organizers secure eventual erection of a wind turbine here. Work proceeds on attaining that goal.

A valuable tool of the WITCC Wind Energy Technician Program is a fully-equipped mobile classroom trailer that recently was displayed to students at Cherokee Washington High School.

WITCC has two such trailers which are utilized for business and industry outreach training. They were initially funded through a Department of Labor Grant.

Used for customized training in electrical, motor control, boilers, and wind energy, each trailer can accommodate 8-12 students, with a laptop for each student. Each trailer is fully technology equipped with a server and Internet access.

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