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Cerro Coso Community College has developed an energy technician program to support the renewable energy industry and is offering a Wind Technology Boot Camp for individuals interested in learning the basics for becoming a wind technician. Boot camp classes are being held at the California City High School through March 19.

Classes are held Monday through Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. This community education class is limited to 15 students and is a fee-based class. A second course is scheduled to begin March 30. Students interested in enrolling can contact the admissions and records office at the Indian Wells Valley campus in Ridgecrest, Calif.

In addition to the community education class, a credit-level class will be offered at the Indian Wells Valley campus. In the new industrial technology certificate and degree programs, students will complete an 18-unit core set of courses to train them as well-rounded, skilled technical workers.

Courses in computer literacy, technical communication, blueprint reading, basic hand tools, applied technical math, oxyacetylene welding and industrial safety are the core of the program. Within the degree program, there are three initial emphases in which students can specialize - energy, engineering technology and electronics. The energy emphasis will include wind and solar technologies and will expand to geothermal, hydro and other energy alternatives.

"It is imperative that we have access to a pool of trained and educated individuals; this program will fulfill our employment needs," says Linda Parker of the Kern Wind Energy Association. "With the growth potential and meeting the mandates of the renewable portfolio standard, the Tehachapi Mojave Wind Resource Area will develop an additional 4,500 MW of wind generation. This growth will also have great employment potential for the local residents of Ridgecrest and the surrounding area."

Cerro Coso has partnered with wind professionals from Airstreams of Tehachapi, Calif. Cerro Coso instructor Larry Board has attended wind training classes over the last two years and has completed the Airstreams certified training program.

SOURCE: Cerro Coso Community College

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