Wind Technician Training Programs Produce Big Incomes

Tracy Roscoe, Mesalands Wind Technician Professor
Tracy Roscoe, Mesalands Wind Technician Professor

Some are calling it a revolutionary industry.

Three area colleges are training people to become wind energy technicians.

Two local colleges are concentrating on night classes so people with jobs can now be trained for better ones.

And another college offers a one of a kind opportunity.

It's the tallest structure in town, and Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari has dubbed it "The World's Largest Classroom."

"We have a full bore. Industrial, 400 foot turbine. Located on campus," said John Yearout the Director of Public Relations at Mesalands.

The college has taken the lead to train for an industry hurting for employees.

"The wind power industry itself has so many opportunities open for now. There's a need for 170,000 new jobs," said Tracy Roscoe, the wind technician professor at Mesalands.

"We were hoping to get 30 students and we got 32 from 10 different states," Yearout said.

The first three graduating classes from Mesalands are almost guaranteed jobs from GE.

But Amarillo College and Clarendon College are working to train people for local jobs.

"Most of the courses we will be offering will be at night," said Jack Stanley, the Science and Engineering Department Chair at Amarillo College.

"Night Classes are for people who maybe don't like their job or are looking for a higher paying job," said Dr. Debra Kuhl, the Dean of Instruction at Clarendon College

It's easy to see how this can be a higher paying job.

"Student's in their third semester can take an intern program and they'll pay them 15 dollars an hour while they learn on the job. That usually generates employment with that company," Stanley said.

"We're hearing that from 45-85 an hour is not unreasonable," Dr. Kuhl said.

The programs have been established, now the schools say they are hoping to grow and train more people.

Clarendon college is hoping to expand classes to its Pampa campus.

Amarillo Conly has about 25 spots left for next semester.

And Mesalands is hoping to have a 200 person program within the next two years.

For more infomation click on the following links:

For Amarillo College: www.actx.edu/wind

For Clarendon College call :(800) 687-9737

For Mesalands: www.mesalands.edu/wind