August 29, 2016
Last Friday, August 26, 2016, two staff members from Mesalands Community College, attended the New Mexico Water and Natural Resources Interim Legislative Committee meeting, to discuss the College’s Wind Energy Technology Program. This was a two-day meeting. On Thursday, the meeting was held at the Clovis Civic Center in Clovis, NM and concluded in Tucumcari on Friday, at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
Andy Swapp, Wind Energy Technology Faculty and Jim Morgan, Director of the North American Wind Research and Training Center at Mesalands Community College, presented at the Water and Natural Resources Committee meeting. Swapp and Morgan provided general information about the College, regarding enrollment growth, increased graduation rates, and the diverse academic programs the College’s provided, including the Wind Energy Technology Program.
“It’s an honor to be here and welcome to Tucumcari. I’ve lived in Tucumcari for about a year now and have been interested in the Wind Energy Technology Program at Mesalands for about five to six years,” Swapp said. “In my opinion, Mesalands did the impossible by having a General Electric wind turbine installed on their campus for students to receive hands-on training. That’s why as a faculty member responsible for training future wind technicians, I believe I am at the pinnacle of my career, right here in Tucumcari at Mesalands Community College.”
Morgan talked about the industry’s need for qualified wind technicians.
“Wind technician is the fastest growing occupation in this country. We are experiencing rapid growth in wind energy and as a result, trained wind technicians are in high-demand,” Morgan said. “Help us spread the word and let others know about the Wind Energy Technology Program at Mesalands.”
Morgan and Swapp also mentioned that a variety of employers are seeking to hire the wind energy graduates from Mesalands, including: Appia Wind Services, Granite Services International, House Wind Farm, Nextera Energy, Vestas Wind Systems, and Wanzek Construction and Services.
The Water and Natural Resources Committee also discussed expanding course offerings in Wind Energy Technology, at the College’s Dual Enrollment High Schools. The need for campus housing at Mesalands was also mentioned and the Committee’s support of this initiative was requested.
The Committee complimented the College on meeting the needs of the wind industry and providing a renewable energy resource, with the Wind Energy Technology Program.
Other topics discussed during the meeting, included: New Mexico Beef Council Assessment on Livestock Sales, Broadview Wind Power Facility Project, Report on Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Water Infrastructure Team and Funding Subgroup Report, the Water Conservation Summit Report, the Federal Clean Water Act Regulations on Waters of the U.S., a briefing on the New Mexico Acequia Association, and an update on the Rural Water Association.