Industry investment enabled by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) forecasts America’s clean energy workforce to more than double, adding an estimated 550,000 jobs and employing nearly one million Americans by 2030 (Zichal, 2022). “To meet demand, the wind industry will need to activate more broad and robust workforce development programs – systems for wind technician recruitment, training and development that reach beyond urban areas to those hardworking folks in rural communities,” said Chad DiFranco, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Sky Climber Renewables. To address the growing demand for wind industry technician’s, Sky Climber Renewables – along with industry leading OEM, Vestas – developed a revolutionary wind technician employment program targeting rural communities called the Tech One Program (TOP).
TOP is the #1 wind technician career program in the country for start-to-finish, specialized support for individuals seeking local, long-term careers in wind energy. TOP is designed to build a bridge between fast-paced wind industry growth and talented Rural Americans. While both Sky Climber Renewables and Vestas employ hundreds of traveling technicians, TOP is geared towards technicians seeking limited travel away from home – men and women living near new and existing wind energy projects.
Since launching in 2019, TOP has introduced hundreds of candidates from rural communities across the country to local, full-time site positions, providing best-in-class industry safety & technical training (which is free to hired candidates), continued skills development through a Task Based Certification (TBC) program, and dedicated career support from wind industry professionals.
TOP Technicians complete a structured nine-month employment program geared towards strategic development of individual skills in safety, rescue, mechanical/electrical/hydraulic maintenance, inspection and reporting, working in team environments, and leadership. A dedicated team of recruiters, administrators, trainers, and managers support TOP Technicians throughout the program. Successful program graduates become primary candidates for potential long-term wind project staff positions, as Level II Technicians for Vestas.
“An estimated 46 million residents live in rural areas throughout the United States, a population rich in diversity and talented individuals often overlooked,” explained Chad. “We often here candidates say they were interested in the industry but didn’t know where to start – even people living just miles from a wind project. Our mission with TOP is to open doors to people in rural communities across the country, so they can discover what a career in wind energy is all about and have the support they need to get started.”
Zichal, H. (2022, 08 12). The American Energy Transformation . Retrieved from American Clean Power: https://cleanpower.org/blog/the-american-energy-transformation/