- Goldwind Americas, a large wind turbine manufacturing company, has announced plans to launch an employee training program in Wyoming to create jobs from nearby transferrable industries, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports. CEO David Halligan says the company is experiencing above average growth.
- Halligan announced the company-sponsored training program, called Goldwind Works, at the 2017 Wyoming Energy Summit held in Cheyenne, stating that it would target displaced workers from manual labor-heavy industries like the mineral extraction markets, construction, ironworks and steelworks.
- According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind turbine technician jobs are estimated to experience 108% job growth by 2024, making them one of the fastest growing jobs in the country.
In economically hard-hit areas like Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, jobs in the energy sector are providing opportunities for candidates willing to learn the skills needed to succeed in this rapidly expanding sector. Wyoming investors have made several multi-million dollar commitments which are helping fuel further industry development. But training will be critical for filling the jobs that investment spurs.
Traditionally, apprenticeships and on-the-job training have been the methods of bringing new hires up to speed in the energy fields. A similar trend was observed with the expansion of jobs in the oil sands, as thousands of eager candidates migrated to areas with a concentration of the industry hoping for good paying jobs. Wind turbine technology has created a brand new market of cleaner energy that is expanding to many regions.
Training programs like Goldwind's offer candidates a chance to be on the leading edge of a rapidly growing field and provide a model for job growth in economically depressed areas that could benefit from an influx of new industry.
Apprenticeships and training programs, in general, are enjoying a moment in the spotlight. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has publicly said such programs will be an agency priority and industries as varied as IT, health care, energy and precision machining have rolled out training initiatives and apprenticeship programs.
Critical skills gaps plague many industries. Private employers can play a critical role in creating the workforce solution they need by offering workers new skill sets through training programs.