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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mid-State Technical College will offer wind-energy training

From an article by Nathaniel Shuda in The Marshfield News-Herald:

A Wisconsin Rapids-based manufacturer is leading the charge to create standardized training for the growing wind energy industry.

Energy Composites Corp., the parent company of Wisconsin Rapids-based Advanced Fiberglass Technologies, is working with the U.S. Department of Energy and a Norway-based company to develop a universal standard of training that would include an internationally accredited curriculum.

"The idea is in the industry we don't have a way of assuring we have trained individuals ... (who) have some way of proving their capabilities," said Sam Fairchild, Energy Composites' chief executive officer.

Det Norske Veritas, a global certification company, began developing wind energy standards when the industry first started in the early 1980s, but those standards were limited to equipment and building techniques -- not training, according to the company's Web site.

Energy Composites signed a letter of intent with Mid-State Technical College last week to establish a 12-credit certification program that will be the first of its kind and set the precedence for other wind energy companies.

"We're pretty confident that we can get that done by spring semester next year with the first course load," Fairchild said. "The guys at Mid-State have been great. The retraining of people is something that is precisely up their alley."

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