WindTech 2013, a training partnership sponsored jointly by Windpower Engineering & Development magazine and Iowa Lakes Community College, is a wonderful example of the type of corporate-college partnership that we should hope for at every institution of higher learning in our country.
Sixty students and 20 working wind technicians took part in the first day of the two-day conference which started yesterday and continues today with a noon address by Lt. Gov. Sally Reynolds which will kick off KidWind, part of Gov. Branstad's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative.
Nine corporate partners provided training at the wind energy and turbine technology building and had exhibits in the college gym:
n Aztec Bolting
n Spider suspended access equipment
n Hytorc Wind, LLC
n RAD Torque Systems
n IWEA (Iowa Wind Energy Association)
This conference is a great event in a number of ways.
First of all, it brings hands-on certification right to students in the wind energy and turbine technology program here in Estherville.
Second, it raises even further the awareness of the wind program at Iowa Lakes.
Third, it brings more potential long-term corporate partners to see the Iowa Lakes wind program firsthand.
Finally, it brings working wind technicians from around the country to Iowa Lakes to see the program. And what they see has to be great.
It's this type of synergy between corporate sponsors and the college that's the envy of other institutions of higher learning.
It's a partnership that closes the gap between booklearning and learning on the job, making graduates from the Iowa Lakes wind program as turn-key as possible.
And an employer can't ask for anything better than that.