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Go Green: Repairing Wind Turbines

Some local students are getting some hand-on training with green technology by learning how to repair wind turbines.
Some local students are getting some hand-on training with green technology by learning how to repair wind turbines. 

It is a chance to explore a new career. The Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES in Williamson offers a program you cannot find anywhere else in the state. They are teaching adults how to become commercial wind turbine technicians.

"These gentlemen actually get five different certifications so this way, when they get hired as a wind technician, they have the certification and can start immediately," Jim Buck said. 

An open house was held earlier this week to teach potential students about the class. Frank Stuber is a student in the program now. He will finish in July. 

"I was looking for a change. One night [I] saw this on TV; saw a commercial and said 'this looks interesting.' [I] still have about 20 years left of work and wanted to find something that would be 20 years away for me and this is very up and coming," he said.

Frank is already looking for jobs and says there are a lot available. He says the hands-on training he got here will give him an advantage.

"We actually climbed the towers at Zoto's in downtown Geneva. We've been up those I think about four times now," he said.

Anybody can register for the program, but you do have to meet a few of the qualifications. You must be able to lift 50 pounds and you cannot be afraid of heights. 

"It's more or less your general maintenance guy [or] electrician. [It's] just that you are working 300 feet up in the air," Buck said.

A grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) helped get the program started. It is now in its third year. The class takes 12 months to complete. Stuber is already thinking about how he can put his new knowledge to use, both on the job and at home.

"I live on the lake and I'm already looking at that; putting them at my house," Stuber said.

The next Wind Turbine Technical program starts in July. If you would like more information, call 1-800-527-1765. 
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