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Freeport, Ill.-based EcoEnergy will partner with Highland Community College (HCC) to develop a wind turbine technology degree program at HCC's Freeport campus. The program will be the first associate's degree program for wind turbine technicians in Illinois, EcoEnergy says. HCC plans to submit the program for approval by the Illinois Community College Board before the end of the year. EcoEnergy says it will provide financial support and technical assistance, including availability of its staff members as adjunct instructors for classes.

The organizations expect to begin offering the classes in fall 2008, and initial capacity will be 16 students the first year and 16 new students in the second year.

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