Wind power is a growing resource around the world. It’s cropping up in new countries all the time, places such as Turkey, for instance. The need to harness wind energy in Turkey – along with the wind industry’s need for knowledgeable technical employees – has led to a plan to establish a facility that educates potential wind technicians in that country. The plan is the Wind Academy Turkey.
“Wind Academy Turkey will take individuals with an technical background and give them a strong foundation for a career as a wind-turbine technician,” says Academy cofounder Ethan Hunter. “Graduates will be fully capable of performing the work using safe work practices essential to the success of new and existing wind projects,” he says.
Hunter, a transplant from Turkey, completed the wind technician program at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa, and was impressed with the thoroughness of his training. After a recent trip to Turkey, he spotted the training opportunities for Turkish wind enthusiasts and others. “For many years, Europeans have dominated the wind energy market. But why are so few American companies involved? The U.S. has the knowledge, educated manpower, and technology. Is that enough to challenge overseas markets? Even China is getting aggressively into the global wind energy market. I think the time has come for the American companies to focus on a billion dollar market growing outside the United States,” he adds.
His goal with Wind Academy Turkey is to create an experienced based and hands-on training program that will run parallel with the way operations are executed in the field. “This will be guided by industry supporters and follow the high American standards that have been successful inside the United States,” he says.
Co-operating with Iowa Lakes Community College, Wind Academy Turkey will emulate the high academic standards set by Iowa Lakes. Solid credentials come from the Community College being the nation’s first Wind Energy & Turbine Technology, Associate in Applied Science Degree Program.
This connection will give solid credentials to the certificate earned upon completion of the Academy’s studies. “Only through our collaboration with Iowa Lakes – as well as leading industry supporters – do we see our training facility advancing with a wise curriculum structure. The opportunity to become a supporter in the training facility will prove beneficial to our industry allies as the project moves forward,” says Hunter.
“My goal is to design an educational package that can be taken directly into the workforce. In the years that follow, the individuals who successfully complete Wind Academy Turkey will be the same people who will be excellent employment prospects – educated and safety conscious technicians.”
The expanding Turkish market is growing exponentially and has already begun to see tremendous support from the Turkish Government. “In addition, there have been a respectable number of approved potential buyers and investors to date. One projection says that by 2023, roughly one third of the energy Turkey needs will come from renewable energy,” he adds. WPE
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