DEVILS LAKE, ND – A renewable energy company operating in North Dakota is connecting local students with career opportunities in the wind industry.
Enel Green Power North America, Inc., operator of the Lindahl wind farm in Tioga, offers scholarships for students interested in pursuing education as a wind energy technician at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, ND.
This year, three students were able to benefit with a $2,500 scholarship. Students who received this scholarship during the 2018-2019 academic year are Dalton Prouty of St. John, ND; Andrew Bertsch and Wyatt Gilbertson, both of Devils Lake, ND.
Wind energy continues to be a growing field in North Dakota. Companies with existing wind farms or building wind sites are looking for its next generation workforce.
One of the nation’s fastest growing careers in the U.S., employers are eagerly seeking qualified employees. Students who enroll and are successful in the Wind Energy Technology program at Lake Region State College find themselves quickly recruited for work. Lake Region State College already provides a comprehensive education program that offers students the education and hands on experience to become wind energy technicians.
"Students who actively seek a job are successful," said Dr. Doug Darling, LRSC President. “It’s quite common for the industry to connect with students while in the program and recruit students to work at their companies upon completion of the program.”
Enel Green Power North America aims to promote the sustainability of the local communities where it operates, creating shared economic and educational benefits from partnering with public schools in the state and contributing to science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) initiatives. As part of Enel Green Power North America’s commitment to make renewable energy education accessible to more people and help meet this growing workforce need, the company has partnered with LRSC’s state-of-the-art program to assist students entering the wind turbine technician field.
“Through this partnership with Lake Region State College, we are developing the wind workforce of the future,” said Jordan Huston, site supervisor of the Lindahl wind farm. “We’re proud to support educational opportunities for students here in North Dakota.”
Students who enroll in Lake Region State College’s wind program and are residents of North Dakota are eligible to apply for the $2,500 scholarships. Preference is given to wind energy students from the Tioga and Williams County area.
The Wind Energy Technician Program at Lake Region State College is the first of its kind in the state of North Dakota. Rapid growth in the wind energy industry has sparked a burgeoning need for technicians. Lake Region State College has anticipated this emergence of workforce need and has worked closely with industry representatives to designed wind energy technician training courses that will prepare students for careers in the wind energy industry.
Students in the Wind Energy Technician program have the option of completing a one-year certificate program or continuing to the second year to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree. At LRSC, students train in LRSC’s 1.6 megawatt turbine. Students in the program will earn how to fix and maintain wind turbines and get a hands-on educational experience by working on the actual turbines. Students must be comfortable with heights, have the ability to climb and have good manual dexterity. Wind energy technicians must also be able to work in confined spaces. Work on wind towers may be indoor or outdoor in a variety of weather conditions.
Enel Green Power North America, part of the Renewable Energies division of the Enel Group, is a leading owner and operator of more than 100 renewable energy power plants across 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. In North Dakota, the company operates the Lindahl wind project, a 150 MW wind farm in Williams County. Enel Green Power North America operates around 100 plants with a managed capacity exceeding 5 GW powered by renewable hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energy.
Established in 1941, Lake Region State College is a comprehensive community college based in Devils Lake, ND. LRSC offers education in a variety of career and technical programs and associate arts (transfer) degree for those planning to transfer and pursue a bachelor’s degree. The college offers its peace officer training program in Minot each spring, Grand Forks and Fargo each summer; its nursing program in Grand Forks and Mayville; is part of the Grand Forks Air Force Base Education Center; has a program called LAUNCH! that serves students in Grand Forks planning on transferring to UND; numerous degrees and courses online; and early entry and dual credit courses for eligible high school students.
The scholarship application form can be accessed at LRSC’s website, LRSC.edu. To register or for more information, contact (701)662-1514 or go to LRSC.edu.