Wind technician training program for those interested in joining the rapidly growing wind industry
CHICAGO (September 13, 2017) – Officials from Chicago-based Goldwind Americas (“Goldwind”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (SZSE: 002202) (HK: 2208) and Casper College of Casper, Wyoming announced today that they are partnering to host the first two-week wind technician training course sponsored by Goldwind Works. The Goldwind Works wind technician training program is scheduled to begin on October 16, 2017 and will be held on the Casper College campus located in Casper, Wyoming.
Goldwind Works is accepting applications for ten students for this first training class, which will consist of an integrated two-week curriculum combining traditional lecture and hands-on lab formats. Students in the training program will receive basic technical and safety qualifications and certifications covering such concepts as wind turbine systems, Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards, and safety at heights – the full curriculum is available on the Goldwind Works website (goldwindworks.com). The company will utilize training facilities and equipment at Casper College’s Center for Training and Development. Goldwind Works is sponsoring all costs associated with delivering the training to these ten students.
“We are thrilled to partner with Casper College to take meaningful action to help educate and train the American workforce for jobs in an industry, not just of the future, but of today – to power America,” said David Halligan, Chief Executive Officer of Goldwind Americas.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wind Technician is the fastest growing job profession in the U.S. and, with Wyoming set to be a big producer of wind energy, Goldwind and Casper College are working together to bring opportunity to those interested in working in this rapidly growing industry.
“This is an important role we play in helping meet the workforce needs for the region,” says Casper College President Darren Divine. “The partnership with Goldwind is a great example of how Casper College works to meet the training needs of growing industries. We’re very excited to be partnered with Goldwind for the important work they’ll be doing in Wyoming.” This partnership between Goldwind and Casper College will grow over time to keep pace with the changing requirements for people working in the wind energy industry.
Goldwind Works is currently accepting applications for its training program. Those interested in learning more about the training and how to apply can visit goldwindworks.com/training or email email@example.com.
For Goldwind Works: Colin Mahoney, Mahoney Communications Group
212-220-6045 / firstname.lastname@example.org
For Casper College: Chris Lorenzen
307-268-3088 / email@example.com
About Goldwind Works
Goldwind Works’ -- a Goldwind Americas-sponsored training curriculum -- is an integrated, two-week program combining traditional lecture and hands-on lab formats for those transitioning away from the coal and/or oil & gas industries or those interested in a new field of work. Participants in the training program will receive basic technical and safety qualifications and certifications to assist in obtaining wind turbine technician internships and full-time positions. Goldwind Works is providing this training complimentary to select individuals who are ready to take their career to new heights. To learn more visit goldwindworks.com.
About Casper College
Casper College is a premier, public, comprehensive two-year institution with a primary focus on student success. The college offers academic transfer programs, career training, continuing education, and basic skills instruction. Casper College provides opportunities and programs to improve quality of life and supports community building and citizenship for the people of Casper, Natrona County, the State of Wyoming, and the World. The college offers over 140 degree and certificate options including a degree in renewable technologies that trains students as instrumentation and control technicians for electrical power generation from wind and solar. Visit Casper College online at caspercollege.edu.
CBS Evening News: Wyoming embraces wind energy, and the jobs that come with it
By Barry Petersen, CBS News
To view the whole story online, visit CBSNews.com
ROLLING HILLS, Wyo. -- Their jobs involve dangling 300 feet in the air, roping the blade of a wind turbine. The work comes with a view across the Wyoming prairie -- and a view well into the future.
Wind turbine jobs are expected to be the fastest growing jobs in America between now and 2024, growing 108 percent.
The turbines stand on reclaimed land covering a coal mine that was worked for almost 50 years. But increasingly, Wyoming's energy comes not from mining what's down below, but from mining the wind above.
In Wyoming -- the top coal-producing state in America -- wind now provides 10 times more energy than it did a decade ago. And that may just be the beginning -- a Chinese company is recruiting workers for wind turbines it hopes to build in Wyoming, and will even pay for training.
Steve Harshman, Republican speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives, said he has no problem with the Chinese creating Wyoming jobs.
"There is so much integration in economies around the world," he said. "I think it's all about free markets and I think we all support that."
Travis Harkins traded his coal job to work in wind, a decision he made with his wife Sam and three active boys very much in mind.
"When I was in coal, I had a concern about how I was going to provide for my family," he said. "Wind generation definitely opened up a whole new avenue for me. And a lot more opportunity."
People here have long boasted about being America's biggest coal producer. Now they're learning to embrace the winds of change -- and with it, a lot of new jobs.
By Frances Lin, Evening Anchor & Reporter
A turbine manufacturer company provided free training for anyone wanting to go into the wind industry on Wednesday at the Parkway Plaza in Casper.
The wind industry is rapidly growing in Wyoming and Goldwind Americas’ Brian Boatwright told News 13, “Wyoming is really responding to wind turbines. As we all know, coal is on the decrease, and natural gas is now the industry leader."
"Not only on Goldwind turbines, but on the majority of turbines and how they function. How they can go from their job that they have right now in Wyoming to have those certifications?"
Goldwind employees said there are many perks about the wind industry.
Lead Technician with Goldwind Cody Smith shared, “The perks about the wind industry is it's a great time to get into it. It's growing so fast right now, you get into it now, you get a possibility to grow your career."
People who attended the meeting said the presentation was very convincing.
Dan Lookingbill felt, "The opportunity sounds real good. I think they did a real good presentation."
After the training session, participants will get proof of instruction.
"We give them those certificates that state they can go work in the wind industry. And it just gives them a leg up on some of the people in the state of Wyoming to don't have those certifications. And they're getting it completely free."
To view the full story online, visit KCWY13.com.
8:52 AM ET
Madelyn Beck from Wyoming Public Radio
Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday. To listen to the full audio recording, visit NPR.org (link is external).
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
The wind energy industry is growing around the world, so has global competition to make the turbines that harness wind energy. This is playing out in Wyoming, a big fossil fuel state with some of the best wind in the country, not unlike our own BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music. A turbine maker out of China wants a piece of all this wind and is trying to win over workers in Wyoming through free training. Wyoming Public Radio's Madelyn Beck reports.
MADELYN BECK, BYLINE: The community center in Rawlins, Wyo., is a musty, older building with faded carpets and linoleum floors. About a hundred people - mostly older men - have shown up to hear about the free training Chinese company Goldwind is offering. Goldwind Americas' CEO David Halligan says he needs people to build and maintain turbines, people with experience.
DAVID HALLIGAN: Where they've had to work in situations where there's safety or mechanical or electrical skills required.
BECK: He's talking about industries like coal mining or oil drilling. Lots of ex-fossil fuel workers here lost their jobs during the recent busts. Others just want more work security, like mechanic William Cardenas.
WILLIAM CARDENAS: With the oil and gas field, it goes up and down, and there's nothing stable. But it seems like this would be a good opportunity and a good experience.
BECK: Wyoming is the country's largest coal producer, but energy analyst Rob Godby of the University of Wyoming tells the crowd coal's future is looking dim. He says this is mostly thanks to cheap natural gas and energy efficiencies, but wind is growing - fast.
ROB GODBY: The easiest thing to compare this to is computers. If you think about PCs 10 years ago and what they could do, for the same price now, you can get so much more.
BECK: Godby says wind prices have come down so far they beat out gas or coal.
GODBY: This is the cheapest form of generation to build.
BECK: Now, workers who get the free training would still have to be retrained if they're hired, but trainer Bryan Boatright says the two-week course will give them an edge.
BRYAN BOATRIGHT: Again, what is it? Foot in the door.
BECK: This could also be Goldwind's foot in the door to Wyoming as the Chinese company expands a mainly Asia-based market. The company is competing against Vestas of Denmark and U.S.-based General Electric, both of which are already established in the U.S. In fact, they are both in the running for a Wyoming project that's slated to be the biggest wind farm in North America - Goldwind isn't.
LAWRENCE WILLEY: Well, I mean, they're an underdog right now, right?
BECK: That's Lawrence Willey, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Wyoming. He worked 15 years in wind. He sees Goldwind's free training as a good move.
WILLEY: This is a smart way to spend money - helps people. It introduces them to the technology and to Goldwind a company. And it will help the region.
BECK: Goldwind does have a contract to supply over 700 wind turbines for a Wyoming project. Next, it plans to take its offer of free training to Texas. For NPR News, I'm Madelyn Beck in Laramie.
SIMON: And that story comes to us from Inside Energy, a public media collaboration that's focused on America's energy issues.
By Diane Cardwell
Goldwind Americas, an arm of a leading wind-turbine manufacturer based in China, has been expanding its business in the United States. It has been careful to seek out local, American workers for permanent jobs on the wind farms it supplies.
Now it is trying to extend that policy to an unlikely place: Wyoming, which produces more coal than any other state and has hardly welcomed the march of turbines across the country, even imposing a tax on wind-energy generation.
On Thursday at an energy conference in Wyoming, the company announced plans for a free training program for one of the nation’s fastest-growing jobs: wind farm technician. And it is aiming the program at coal miners having trouble finding work, as well as those from other industries.
Called Goldwind Works, the program would begin next month with a series of informational meetings in Wyoming and include a safety training and tower climb at a wind farm in Montana.
The company has an agreement to supply turbines, potentially 850, to a project in Carbon County, Wyo., where the state’s first coal mine opened a century ago. Once construction is completed, as many as 200 workers will be needed to maintain and operate the plant.
The chief executive, David Halligan, said in a telephone interview that he expected coal workers to have relevant skills, mainly electrical and mechanical, and experience working under difficult conditions.
“If we can tap into that market and also help out folks that might be experiencing some challenges in the work force today, I think that it can be a win-win situation,” he said. “If you’re a wind technician, you obviously can’t be afraid of heights. You have to be able to work at heights, and you have to be able to work at heights in a safe manner.”
The program could offer a needed boost. Hundreds of coal miners were laid off in Wyoming last year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that national employment for mining and geological engineers will grow by 6 percent between 2014 and 2024, while employment for wind turbine technicians is expected to grow by 108 percent.
Robert Godby, director of the Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy at the University of Wyoming, said the announcement could lead to a shift in thinking about the potential economic development benefits of wind projects. The state has some of the most robust winds in the country and has attracted keen interest from developers.
“This is actually a realization of these benefits in a way that hasn’t been apparent before,” Mr. Godby said. “The more you hear these positive stories and you start to see more direct benefits, it changes local perspectives and kind of begins to open minds.”
He cautioned, though, that the program could hardly make up for job losses in the coal industry, in part because each coal job results in related jobs, given the supply chain involved in handling and transporting the fuel.
Beyond Wyoming, the program could have implications for complex trade relations with China. In 2013, the Commerce Department finalized steep tariffs on some wind towers after finding that China was providing unfair subsidies to manufacturers that were then selling their products at below-market prices.
“This seems to be an effort — and perhaps a smart effort — by a Chinese company to win its way into the hearts of this administration and get beyond what’s happened in the past by targeting a core group of supporters of this president,” said Rory MacFarquhar, a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“But this administration has been talking much more about manufacturing than about services,” added Mr. MacFarquhar, who helped set international economic and trade policy in the Obama White House. “They seem to want to actually have factory jobs back in the United States.”
Mr. Halligan said that Goldwind did not have plans for American manufacturing, but that the Wyoming wind project could generate thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of full-time operations and support positions.
The company plans to use the Wyoming program as a pilot. It hopes to eventually roll it out in other states where it supplies turbines, like Texas.
Diane Cardwell is a Business Day reporter for The New York Times covering energy, with a focus on renewables. Read the article online at nytimes.com.
Watch our video to learn more about Goldwind Works from Goldwind Americas’ CEO, David Halligan.