Training Turbine Installers: A Michigan First

Spicer Group, Flickr.

Spicer Group, Flickr.

A school in southwest Michigan called Kalamazoo Valley Community College is launching a first-of-its-kind program to train people to install wind turbines. If you want to get one of those green jobs that Van Jones and the others keep talking about, you might want to sign up.

If you’re not scared of heights, or confined spaces, don’t mind traveling and love the bird’s eye view, this could be the career for you.

Just a few years ago, Michigan was short on wind, with only single commercial windmills in Mackinaw and Traverse cities. Then came some new wind maps, and a rush of developers descended on the rural Thumb region of the state.

Today, there are two commercial wind farms, sporting a total of almost 80 turbines, with plans for more. Just the other day, the state’s second and largest wind farm was dedicated near Ubly.

Back to Kalamazoo: the KVCC Wind Turbine Technician Academy program is set to begin in October. It will run for 26 weeks, be based on a European certification standard and train people in the installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of commercial-scale turbines, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Delta College in Bay County, just outside the Thumb, is working on its own program, and hoping to begin enrolling students this fall.

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