The proliferation of wind turbines in western Iowa means more than just fast-money leases for farmers.
Turbines, now fencing the northern part of Carroll, and rising majestically along U.S. 30 and U.S. 20 for vast stretches in this part of the state, are a source for new careers.
So says Des Moines Area Community College which offers an “Introduction to Wind Energy” course.
The course, which was implemented this past semester at Carroll, is also now being offered on the Newton campus.
“There is a great demand for wind energy jobs right now,” said Scott Ocken, dean of DMACC’s industry and technology department. “Last year, the wind energy industry grew by 45 percent. As a result, the industry is seeking people who can build, operate and maintain these giant wind turbines, so our students who participate in this program have a very bright future.”
Ocken says that the starting salary is generally in the 40s and will increase rapidly with experience. “Wind energy represents green jobs that our state, nation and the energy industry are committed to expanding,” he said.
DMACC’s wind emphasis is part of the college’s industrial electro-mechanical technology program and, in just two years, a student can earn an associate of applied sciences degree and be ready for wind energy jobs.