State Energy Program...
Students Learn Renewable Energy Skills at Community Colleges

Workers install the turbine tower at the Southeast Community College Milford campus.
Photograph: Lincoln Journal Star

Southeast Community College in Milford is offering a new curriculum with a Recovery Act grant from the Nebraska Energy Office and donated labor from Nebraska Public Power District. A 1.6 kilowatt wind turbine is atop a 45 foot tower that was erected on the west side of the Milford campus.

Students enrolled in Southeast Community College’s “Energy Generation Operations Program” are learning new skills in renewable energy technologies. The mission of the Energy Generation Operations program is to prepare individuals for high-quality entry-level positions in various energy generation fields, including nuclear, coal, natural gas, biofuels and wind. The first group of Southeast Community College students is scheduled to graduate in June.

The wind turbine on the Milford Campus was purchased with a Recovery Act grant from the Nebraska Energy Office. Southwest Windpower manufactured the turbine and Valmont Industries of Valley constructed the tower.

Five of six community colleges — Central, Mid-Plains, Northeast, Southeast and Western — share a $1.591 million grant to develop renewable energy curricula to train students in today's rapidly expanding renewable energy field.Metropolitan Community College also received a grant totaling $318,333 for renewable energy curriculum development.

Community College Summer/Fall Renewable Energy Course Schedules Now Available
Nebraska's community colleges new summer/fall schedules for programs in renewable energy technologies — wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and biofuels — is now available at the Energy Office Careers in Energy webpage. Nebraska's community college systems offer coursework and training equipment to prepare students for careers in renewable energy fields. Teams of instructors from the colleges have developed courses using national standards, and continue to expand course offerings.

Current course offerings at the colleges are listed online.

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