Granite Services International Inc., an affiliate of GE, is currently conducting its new-hire trainings for wind energy technicians at Mesalands Community College, located in Tucumcari, N.M.
Through a three-year partnership, Granite conducts one-week training sessions at the college’s North American Wind Research and Training Center.
Curriculum from the Wind Energy Technology Program at Mesalands is also a major part of Granite’s training program, which includes the use of the college’s 1.5 MW wind turbine. Mesalands’ wind center provides classrooms, a lecture hall, a computer lab and storage space – allowing Granite to complete its new-hire training in one location.
Recently, Granite placed three large trailers at the wind center to make it easier to access tools and equipment. One contains training material and equipment for training, and the other two hold maintenance equipment for wind turbines. Granite’s staff uses this equipment to deploy in response to scheduled or emergency maintenance needs in the region.
“It’s almost unbelievable that a company that hires wind technicians is housed right here at our college,” said Andy Swapp, a Wind Energy Technology faculty member at Mesalands. It’s not often that you can work shoulder to shoulder with people that are doing the hiring. This is an incredible opportunity for our students.”
According to Kenneth Brennan, resource manager at Granite, seven new-hire training sessions have been conducted at Mesalands this year; each class has an average of 10 students.
Two more training sessions will be held later this month at the Mesalands campus. Brennan anticipates that next year should be a busy year: Approximately 60-80 students will complete their new-hire training at the college.