April 12, 2018
In March, Mesalands Community College had a special visit from Neal Gyngard, the founder of the Tower Climbing Grease Monkeys (TCGM). TCGM’s mission is to shine a light on the men and women who give their time and service to the wind industry. They add value to the industry by providing recruiting services, sharing relevant news, and promoting the products that help wind technicians do their job, the best way possible.
Gyngard was a wind energy technician for 10 years. He worked with Andy Swapp, Wind Energy Technology Instructor at Mesalands, at the same wind farm in southern Utah for eight years. He then started TCGM to travel the country as an ambassador for the wind industry.
“I got into this because it was the right thing to do and I wanted to give back to the world and to the environment,” Gyngard said in response to a question from a Wind Energy Technology Student at Mesalands. “I followed my dream.”
Gyngard had a question and answer session with Wind Energy Technology students at Mesalands. He also took a tour of the facilities at the North American Wind Research and Training Center.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before. Students here get a lot of hands-on experience. I’m really impressed by the facilities and the caliber of students. The biggest resource you have is the wind turbine. The labs and equipment are just added bonuses,” Gyngard said. “To train the wind techs of the future is a great honor.”
Gyngard ended his tour with a Facebook live video with Swapp, inside the nacelle of the College’s wind turbine. The video has nearly 8,000 views and 40 shares on Facebook.
“TCGM is the voice of the wind industry and for wind technicians,” Swapp said. “It is like having a celebrity visit your college when Neal drops in. Neal knows how to motivate the students and the workforce. I am honored to call Neal a friend and have known him all these years. A public thank you isn’t enough for what TCGM really does.”
The next day, representatives from Wind Tech Recruiters also visited Mesalands and took a tour of the Wind Center. They identify and place the top wind talent into jobs that solve the wind industry’s talent gaps. They plan to partner with Mesalands to help students secure employment in the wind industry.
Wind Tech Recruiters made the following statement on their Facebook page, regarding their visit Mesalands: “They (Mesalands) are doing really great things to prepare new and aspiring wind technicians, and they have an actual wind turbine they train students on. This is not common in other curriculums.”