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Two years after introducing its pioneering Wind Energy Technician program, Danville Area Community College has implemented changes to keep the program at the forefront of the industry as it grows and evolves. DACC is currently accepting applications from those wishing to enter the Associate degree program for spring 2012. The deadline for application submission is Thursday, December 1, 2011.

 

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, wind is a clean, inexhaustible, indigenous energy resource that can generate enough electricity to power millions of homes and businesses. The United States can currently generate more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the wind, which is enough to power 2.5 million average American homes. Industry experts predict that, with proper development, wind energy could provide 20 percent of this nation’s energy.
 
This cutting-edge program will lead to lucrative careers in renewable resources fields. The industry-derived curriculum will focus on the electrical power generation industry, worksite safety, mechanical devices, and hydraulic and electrical systems. Program graduates will have the skills necessary to succeed in an entry-level technical position, maintaining and repairing giant wind turbines, with the opportunity to advance with additional training and work experience. The base pay for a Wind Energy Technician is estimated to be $16-$30 per hour, with an average work week of 40-45 hours.

 

DACC was pleased to introduce a new Lead Instructor for the program during the fall 2011 semester. Charles Brummett brings years of practical career experience to his new role, as well as an interest in sustainable energy resources and green technology. Prior to accepting the position of Lead Instructor, Brummett spent several years as the Lead Technician for Siemens Wind Power. His primary responsibilities revolved around training new hires on the job site.

 

“Charles commented that many of the new hires he worked with had little or no training in the field,” said Bruce Rape, DACC Dean of Business and Technology. “He knows what technicians need to be successful in the field and he knows what new hires have been lacking. His on-site experience is invaluable in the classroom.”

 

Thanks to a $440,000 State Energy Partnership Grant from the Illinois Department of Economic Opportuntiy, DACC added a 60-foot training tower and Lab Volt Nacelle Trainer to the program’s training equipment. The tower will be used for climb training, while the Nacelle Trainer simulates an actual nacelle with generator, motor, gears, and programmable faults to train students in potential repair situations.

 

Dean Rape said, “Other than the scale, the simulator is probably better than an actual nacelle because we can plan and train for potential faults.”

 

Additions to the curriculum for Spring 2012 will include OSHA 10 Safety, CPR, First Responder, and Forklift Training.

 

“The safety training is an added benefit for employers because our graduates won’t need additional employer-paid training,” explained Dean Rape. “The work sites are typically in remote locations;  if an accident occurs, medical assistance could take a while to arrive. It’s important that technicians have basic safety and first aid training.”

 

Once accepted into the program, students must complete this degree as a full-time student. The program is designed to be completed in two academic years (or four semesters). Classes may take place during the daytime or in the evening.

 

Applicants to the Wind Energy Technician Program must meet all admission criteria for DACC and must have an official high school transcript or GED on file at DACC prior to the application deadline.  Applicants who are legal residents of Community College District 507 will be given priority for admission, provided all admission criteria are met.

 

Before being considered for admission into the Wind Energy Technician Program,
applicants must have:

 

  • Completed a Danville Area Community College application form.
  • Completed a Wind Energy Technician Program application form.
  • Submitted transcripts from previous colleges attended, if applicable.
  • Placement tested into MATT 133 (Technical Math I) and ENGL 101 or ENGL 121
    (Rhetoric or Communications Skills). These scores can be demonstrated by ACT, SAT,
    Compass, or accepted evidence of recent prerequisite courses on an official transcript.
  • A medical history form, physicians exam, and Level 2 drug screening must be completed at the applicant’s expense prior to acceptance, indicating the applicant meets the technical requirements of the Wind Energy Program. Because of the physical nature of the work an applicant must be drug free and able to achieve and maintain a level of physical fitness appropriate to meet the demands of the career. Each applicant should be able to climb a 240’ tower and regularly carry 60 pounds.
  • A mechanical aptitude test may be required.
  • If qualified applicants exceed seat availability the applicants will be rank ordered
    according to GP A from high school or college transcripts.

 

Remaining qualified applicants who do not receive a seat in the current cohort due to space restrictions must submit another application next year. Lists of qualified applicants will not be maintained from year to year.

 

Applications are available from the DACC Business & Technology Division office in the Technology Center, or in the Counseling & Advising office in Lincoln Hall on the DACC campus. Applications must be submitted by December 1, 2011, for acceptance into the spring 2012 program cohort. For more information, contact Charles Brummett, Wind Energy  Instructor at cbrummett@dacc.edu or 217-443-8579.
















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