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Farmingdale offers programs to train wind energy workers


Farmingdale State College launched its first three wind power programs this summer as part of an effort to train and educate the next generation of energy workers.

Just under 100 students are enrolled in the three programs, which include a partnership with turbine producer General Electric that includes a stint at the company’s learning center near Albany, the president of Farmingdale College said, John S. Nader.

This 200-hour wind turbine training program allows students to undergo hands-on training at the GE center with travel costs covered, after which they are considered “ready to work in the wind energy industry”. Nineteen students are enrolled in the program, which is offered for this summer but not for the fall. Nader said it should be offered at a later date.

This summer, another 60 students are enrolled in Farmingdale’s new Introductory Wind Energy program, offering 70 hours of uncredited wind energy concepts and activities.

A third program that offers college credit is the Farmingdale Wind Energy Micro-Degree, a three-course sequence that “prepares students for a career as wind turbine technician,” the college said. It will also allow them to continue studying towards a university certificate in wind turbine technology, Nader said.

Farmingdale is joining Stony Brook Unversity to launch a formal wind power apprenticeship this year as the state moves towards a goal of more than 9,000 megawatts of wind power over the next 14 years. Developers like Orsted have engaged millions of people in training at local colleges, including Suffolk County Community College.

“The state is keen to start a wind energy workforce and we are excited to work with the state to provide this workforce,” Nader said.

Farmingdale State College will continue to grow in the wind energy industry this year and beyond. The initial program is funded by a grant of $ 415,000 from the office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who reached college through the SUNY Research Foundation.

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