CHEYENNE — Wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind Americas plans to train Wyoming workers as wind energy technicians, CEO David Halligan said.
Good candidates could include workers laid off as a result of the recent downturn in Wyoming’s coal, oil and natural gas industries. The company needs workers experienced in construction, ironworks and steelworks, Halligan said at an energy industry conference Thursday.
“These folks are very well-suited with transferable skills to come and work for the wind industry. We want to tap into those folks and bring them skills, so they can easily work in the wind industry, and hopefully work for Goldwind,” he said.
Halligan announced Goldwind Works, a company-sponsored training program. The company will begin with informational meetings in June followed by wind farm tours for those interested in working in the industry.
“The folks that work for me are full-time professionals, they’re very well-paid and they have full benefits,” Halligan said.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts wind turbine technician jobs will more than double in the U.S. by 2024. Others at the conference welcomed the training idea.
“I don’t think anyone has the perception that the wind industry is going to overtake or replace the coal industry in Wyoming,” said Colin McKee, a policy adviser for Gov. Matt Mead. “But it is an incredible component of our economy and a great supplement.”