Nebraska Energy Office Provides $1.9 Million...
Nebraska’s Community Colleges now offer programs in renewable energy technologies — wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and biofuels. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 grants from the Nebraska Energy Office to six community college systems, the colleges have added coursework and training equipment across the state to prepare students for careers in renewable energy fields. Teams of instructors from across the state have developed courses in wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal technologies using national competency standards, and continue to expand the course offerings. Instructors have received training from organizations such as the American Wind Energy Association, National Hydropower Association, Geothermal Energy Association, Solar Energy Institute, and others who offer the most advanced thinking in renewable energy. The Nebraska Energy Office has a Careers in Energy webpage with detailed information.
- Central Community College, Hastings – Mechatronics Program: Fundamentals necessary to install, maintain, and repair the latest equipment in varied manufacturing and industrial facilities. In Fall 2012, the Renewable Energy option will prepare students for entry level positions in wind and solar energy installation, operation, and maintenance; Two-year Associate of Applied Technology degree. Their website is www.cccneb.edu
- Metropolitan Community College, Omaha – Solar Energy Program: Part of the Sustainability Initiative, which includes weatherization, green living, urban farming and related courses. There are three types of active solar: electric, air, and water. Each type of active solar has one theory class, one overview class and three installation classes. Students will have the opportunity to use best practices on the latest equipment and applications. Additional classes: general renewables (wind, hydro, solar), passive solar and solar site selection. There are no pre-requisites. Six types of specialist Certificates. Their website is www.mccneb.edu
- Mid-Plains Community College, North Platte – Energy Production: Diesel, electrical, HVAC and welding programs. Energy producers in Nebraska are looking for employees with knowledge in mechanical skills, electrical skills, electronics, hydraulics, welding, motor control, machining skills, computer skills, print and plan readers, programmable controllers instrumentation and process control; Associate Degree of Applied Science in Hydro Electrical Mechanical Technology. Their website is www.mpcc.edu
- Northeast Community College, Norfolk – Wind Energy Program: Students learn rigging and climbing safety in and around a wind turbine, wind energy fundamentals, blueprint reading, control systems and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems and wind turbine siting. Degree: Wind Energy Diploma or an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Wind Energy Technology. Wayne State College accepts up to 60 credit hours from Northeast toward a Bachelor of Science degree in technology. Their website is www.northeast.edu
- Southeast Community College, Milford – Energy Generation Operations Program: A comprehensive program of study that provides training in multiple energy systems: Renewable wind and biofuels specializations and traditional fossil fuel and nuclear programs. Students learn skills for power plant operators, ethanol production operators, wind farm technicians and operators, as well as operators of other types of energy production facilities. Programs are certified by the Wind Energy Association and the Nuclear Energy Institute. Program is designed with five quarters of for several types of energy operations. In the sixth quarter, specific types of fuel operations prepare students for careers in the type of energy generating plant of their choosing. Degree: Associates of Applied Science in Energy Generation Operations. Their website is www.southeast.edu
- Western Nebraska Community College, Sidney – Wind Turbine Technician Program: A one-semester Skill Award focused on entry-level training: basic maintenance, physical ability, safety and electricity fundamentals. Long-term plans include a 36-Credit Certificate and industry specific training/retraining. Their website is www.wncc.edu
These courses have been developed with U.S. Department of Energy, State Energy Program/American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds received by the Nebraska Energy Office.
The Nebraska State Energy Sector Partnership syNErgy Project
syNErgy is funded through a U.S. Department of Labor State Energy Sector Partnership grant and is coordinated through the Nebraska Department of Labor. The goal of syNErgy is to place skilled workers in unsubsidized employment in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency fields by preserving and creating new jobs in power generation, transportation, building, agriculture and waste management markets while reducing the environmental footprint of these energy intensive industries.
Officials at Northeast Community College recently learned that the Nebraska Department of Labor’s syNErgy Program grant funds for students interested in green careers have been increased from $2,000 to $6,000 per student. The grant awards will be available for tuition, fees, books, and required materials for those studying renewable fuels (ethanol), wind energy, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, industrial technology, building construction, and welding at Nebraska colleges. Participants must complete their studies by December 2012. For more information, contact Shanelle Grudzinski at (402)844-7692, email email@example.com or contact Theresa Kratochvil, Nebraska Department of Labor at (402)564-3124, email Theresa.firstname.lastname@example.org.