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Texas Tech Receives $1 Million from Workforce Commission to Develop Wind Energy Program

Texas Wind Energy Institute is created to meet training needs for a new industry.

Written by Leslie Cranford

Chancellor Kent Hance and President Guy Bailey accept a $1 million grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to fund the Texas Wind Energy Institute.

Texas Tech University received a $1 million Workforce Investment Act Statewide Activity Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to support the creation of the Texas Wind Energy Institute.

The grant will be used to develop curriculum and prepare students to meet the workforce needs of the rapidly growing wind power industry in Texas. The Texas Wind Energy Institute is a partnership between Texas Tech and Texas State Technical College in collaboration with American Wind Energy Association, Lone Star Wind Alliance, Utility Wind Interest Group, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and other energy-related organizations.

The vision of the institute is to position Texas as the leader in technical, managerial and professional education for the wind power industry. The institute’s initial focus will include the development of safety courses currently needed by the wind power industry.

Already a recognized national leader in the research and development of wind energy, the university now has the means to distribute training to a much-needed workforce, said Chancellor Hance.

“This will allow us to take our expertise in wind engineering and package it in a way that’s accessible for a statewide workforce that will support the emerging wind energy industry,” Hance said.

Texas Tech is also a leader in outreach and distance education with almost 100,000 students enrolled in various distance education programs.

“We want to be recognized as one of the top public distance learning programs in the United States and we need to build strategic partnerships to achieve that goal,” Hance said. “This award by the Texas Workforce Commission allows us to do that.”

According to Matt Baker, dean of the proposed College of Outreach & Distance Education, Texas Tech will be working to develop two graduate certificate programs with some of the courses to be delivered online.

“One program will be for engineers or those with a strong calculus base, and another that is non-calculus based – designed for students with backgrounds in business, mass communications, agricultural economics or others,” Baker said. “There are plans to also develop a Bachelor of Science degree for resident students and to offer continuing education courses, some online and some face-to-face, for working professionals.”

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wind power

The Texas Wind Energy Institute is a partnership between Texas State Technical College and Texas Tech University.

The Institute offers training, degrees and courses for developing careers in the wind energy industry.

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