PLATTSBURGH - It's said if you build it, then they will come. However, if you build a wind tower, who will come to fix it?
Clinton Community College is striving to meet that need with a new program implemented earlier this year, Wind Energy and Turbine Technology. The Associate in Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) degree program began being offered in January, receiving significant interest.
The program was developed by Janice B. Padula, professor of Science, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Computer Applications and Mathematics Instruction for the college. The curriculum, which received approval from the New York State Education Department and State University of New York, focuses on training individuals to work on the vast number of turbines being built each year.
The Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program came about as a workforce initiative designed to address alternative energy careers in our area and to help meet the growing need for trained technicians. The new program is designed to prepare students to maintain and repair wind turbines, focusing on skill-based training, considering the electrical and mechanical aspects of the turbine. It's estimated two wind turbine technicians are needed for every 10 turbines. And, with more than 400 wind towers in Clinton County alone, the need for skilled labor is great, said Padula.
"With wind energy as the largest growing industry in the world, the college is in a perfect position to offer the program and begin teaching the necessary courses," said Padula.
The Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program, which is one of few currently being offered to students in the nation, was also designed to complement two new related A.A.S. degree programs, Electrical Technology and Computer Technology, for the college's Business and Technology Division.
The requirements for a two-year degree in Wind Energy and Turbine Technology are a minimum 66 credits consisting of: