April 8, 2016
Mesalands Community College is pleased to announce that U.S Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) recently visited Mesalands Community College and had the opportunity to climb the 1.5 megawatt wind turbine at the North American Wind Research and Training Center. This was part of Heinrich’s college and job training tour in Eastern New Mexico, to discuss college affordability and job training opportunities with students and administrators at Hispanic-Serving Institutions.
Senator Heinrich, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, has been a major supporter of renewable energy, specifically wind energy. He played a key role in the recent extension of production tax credits (PTC) for wind and solar energy.
“We are so proud of Senator Heinrich’s efforts in terms of forwarding the cause of renewable energy for the State of New Mexico and for the entire nation,” Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, President of Mesalands Community College. “It’s our privilege and pleasure to have Senator Heinrich climb our wind turbine in order to get a better sense of the wind industry, as he continues to increase the power of renewables in our country.”
Dr. Newsom says he recently met with Senator Heinrich at a Rural Community College Alliance meeting in Washington, D.C. He said during that meeting he invited Senator Heinrich to visit the Mesalands campus to learn more about the institution and the various academic programs offered to help students secure future employment. This included a once in a lifetime opportunity to climb a wind turbine.
During his visit to the Mesalands campus, Senator Heinrich took a tour of the Wind Center and met with Wind Energy Technology students and faculty members, prior to climbing the wind turbine. He also toured the Small Business Development Center and the Artistic Silversmithing facilities at the College, meeting with faculty, staff, and students. Students in the Artistic Silversmithing program demonstrated their engraving skills and technique during the tour. In this program students learn how to create traditional Western cultural art pieces, including, custom designing, fabricating, and engraving of bits, spurs, buckles, and jewelry. At the end of the tour, Senator Heinrich was presented with a custom engraved belt buckle, in commemoration of his visit to Mesalands.