After being on hiatus for a few years, the Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician program is back up and running at Northern Lights College.
The program is the first of hopefully many green energy trades at NLC, according to Dean of Trades and Apprenticeships, Leo Manning.
“It’s a really great segue for us into greener technologies,” said Leo. “It’s going to evolve so we’re going to have green technologies in the trades department and wind turbine is the launching pad.”
Wind turbine is a combination of two trades—electrical and millwright. Students start off taking electrical foundation level 1 at the Fort St. John campus. They will then spend eight weeks over the summer doing a practicum placement for a wind turbine company. They will get all their tower safety certifications at the same time. Once the practicum is done, they take millwright foundation level 1 in Dawson Creek.
Providing the practicum goes well, students will likely have a job offer coming out of the program. As wind energy is a global industry, there’s opportunity for travel, and since it’s so specialized, there’s a sizable salary as well.
There are only four seats available in the program, as there are only so many placements for the practical portion. NLC works with Vestas to find the placements–according to Leo, “our partners at Vestas are excited, they’re looking forward to getting our students.”
It took some mental shifting among the trades instructors to try and fit the necessary components for the wind turbine students, but Leo said he’s pleased with how it’s all come together.
“It’s exciting because it’s our first run, it’s taken us a couple years to put all the paperwork together and run it through the education council and process, get the instructors on board,” he said. “It took a while to get all those pieces put together but I’m happy with the results.”
Want to find out more about our Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician program? Go here>>
Bear Mountain Wind Turbines at dusk—Photo by Darren Giersch