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The Kalamazoo Valley Community College Wind Turbine Technician Academy provides a fast track to high demand/high pay jobs. Wind Turbine Technicians play key roles in the operation and maintenance of power generating wind turbines. A Wind Turbine Technician is needed for every 10 turbines.
Operators of wind farms and wind turbine manufacturers report that quality technicians are difficult to recruit. With the push in this country to generate 20% of our energy with wind by 2030, the demand for highly trained technicians will only increase. Because of the shortage, most companies require overtime of up to 30 hours per week. Technicians start out in a range from $30,000 to $45,000 annually before overtime and benefits. General contractors hire technicians for the work of setting up and commissioning new turbines. Manufacturers, operation and maintenance firms hire technicians for predictive maintenance and troubleshooting.
Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Kalamazoo, Michigan has established a competency based program which will provide graduates credentials that are highly sought after by the wind power industry for construction, operation and maintenance of utility size wind turbines.
The Wind Turbine Technician Academy (WTTA) is a 24-week, competency-based training program, designed to ensure graduates have demonstrated mastery of core technical skills essential to perform effectively and safely as an entry level wind turbine technician. Program content aligns with the knowledge and skill requirements for success in manufacturers' training programs where proprietary systems are explored.
The units of study which make up each module are presented in a sequence which assures a theoretical foundation and an opportunity to practice using the technology in the learning lab. The program of study combines lecture, demonstration, and laboratory exercises to facilitate learning. Safe work practices are stressed and consistently practiced.
The Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) WTTA is certified by the Bildungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien (BZEE) (pronounced B - Zed - E - E), headquartered in Husum, Germany. This premier wind turbine technician training organization was founded in 2000, through the work of a consortium of leading wind turbine manufacturers in Europe. Industry leaders continue to guide and direct the curriculum which adjusts frequently to the changes in technology and with research-based process improvement.
Academy graduates will earn:
Kalamazoo Valley Community College Certificate of Completion - The Certificate of Completion will be awarded to graduates who successfully complete the program. The certificate is based on satisfactory scores on the knowledge tests, practical examinations, and adherence to program guidelines.
Transcript of Competencies - Over the course of the program, more than 35 specific competencies will be assessed. As skills are demonstrated by the students, a Transcript of Competencies will be signed by the certified instructors. At the conclusion of the program, the Transcript of Competencies will serve as a specific reference an employer can use to evaluate the student as a job candidate.
BZEE Wind Turbine Technician Certification - The Wind Turbine Technician Academy participates with the Renewable Energy Education Center - BZEE (Bildungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien). The BZEE is recognized internationally as the premier training provider for Wind Turbine Technicians in Europe and North America. The world's leading wind turbine manufacturers, as well as logistics and maintenance firms developed the standards and provide on-going input and support. These relationships assure BZEE certified Wind Turbine Technicians have the skills and competencies required by employers.
Graduates of the Wind Turbine Technician Academy at Kalamazoo Valley Community College will be afforded the opportunity to earn a certification through the BZEE. They will become part of an international pool of certified technicians from which employers can find workers to hire.
BZEE Wind Turbine Technician certification will be earned by students who successfully complete the Wind Turbine Technician Academy; achieve a satisfactory score on the BZEE written certification tests and on the BZEE practical skill assessments; and complete a minimum of three weeks field experience on a wind farm. Students earning this level of certification will receive a certificate suitable for framing, a wallet card, and their contact information will be entered into a database accessible by employers as they look for candidates for employment.