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Farmingdale offers programs to train wind energy workers

Farmingdale State College this summer kicked off its

Farmingdale State College this summer kicked off its first three wind energy programs as part of an effort to train and educate the next generation of energy workers. Farmingdale joins Stony Brook Unversity in launching formal wind energy learning this year. Credit: Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale State College this summer kicked off its first three wind energy programs 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 features a stint at the company’s learning facility near Albany, said Farmingdale State College president John S. Nader.

That 200-hour wind turbine training program allows students to complete hands-on training at the GE center, with travel expenses covered, after which they are considered "ready to work in the wind energy industry." Nineteen students are enrolled in that program, which is being offered for this summer but not the fall. Nader said it’s expected to be offered at a future date.

Another 60 students this summer are enrolled in Farmingdale’s new introduction to wind energy program, offering 70 hours of uncredited wind energy concepts and applied activities.

A third program that offers college credits is Farmingdale's wind energy micro-credential, a three-course sequence that "prepares students to pursue careers as wind turbine technicians," the college said. It will also allow them to continue to study toward a wind turbine technology academic certificate, Nader said.

Farmingdale joins Stony Brook Unversity in launching formal wind energy learning this year as the state moves toward a goal of more than 9,000 megawatts of wind energy over the next 14 years. Developers such as Orsted have committed millions to training at local colleges, including Suffolk County Community College.

"The state is interested in jumpstarting a work force in the wind energy field and we're pleased to work with the state in providing that work force," Nader said.

Farmingdale State College will continue to expand in the wind energy sector this year and beyond. The initial program is funded by a $415,000 grant from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, which reached the college through the SUNY Research Foundation.

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