October 10, 2016
Mesalands Community College is pleased to announce that Granite Services International Inc (Granite), an affiliate of General Electric (GE), is currently conducting their new hire trainings for wind energy technicians, at the College’s North American Wind Research and Training Center. This three-year partnership between Mesalands Community College and Granite Services International, continues to grow, allowing them to provide additional opportunities for their students and employees.
“It’s almost unbelievable that a company that hires wind technicians is housed right here at our College. It’s not often that you can work shoulder to shoulder with people that are doing the hiring. This is an incredible opportunity for our students,” said Andy Swapp, Wind Energy Technology Faculty Member at Mesalands. “I’m so glad that we have this facility that can house Granite and they can do their new hire training here.”
Granite conducts one-week training sessions at the Wind Center for their newly hired wind technicians and summer interns. Curriculum from the Wind Energy Technology Program at Mesalands, is also a major part of Granite’s training program, which includes the use of the College’s 1.5 megawatt wind turbine. The Wind Center provides classrooms, a lecture hall, a computer lab, and storage space, to allow Granite to complete their new hire training in one location. Recently, Granite placed three large trailers at the Wind Center, to make it easier to access their tools and equipment as needed. One of the trailers contains training material and equipment for their new hire training. The other two trailers are comprised of maintenance equipment for wind turbines that Granite’s staff uses to deploy to the region in response to scheduled or emergency maintenance needs.
“It’s easier to have the trailers in this central location versus where they were before. Now, they’re accessible on a short notice, or even in an emergency situation. I can go to the campus and get something out of one of those trailers, or take the entire trailer if that’s the case, and transport it to the site that needs it,” said Kenneth Brennan, Resource Manager at Granite.
Brennan is in charge of the new hiring training and he is located in Edgewood, NM, which is two hours from Tucumcari. Brennan said prior to moving the trailers to the Wind Center, they were located in Houston, TX. With many of the wind turbines located in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, having the trailers stored in Tucumcari, is an ideal situation. He said he is grateful to Mesalands to have the opportunity to use their facilities and for their continued hospitality.
“The staff at Mesalands has treated us very well over the past couple of years. When I go out to the campus, it’s like going to my second home. That’s the way we’re treated and that’s the way we’re received,” Brennan said. “It’s a very friendly environment and I’m greatly appreciative of it.”
Brennan stated that seven new hire training sessions have been conducted at Mesalands this year, with an average of ten students per class. Two more training classes will be held later this month at the Mesalands campus. Brennan anticipates that next year should be a busy year, with approximately 60-80 students completing their new hire training at Mesalands.