Is anyone tired of winter yet? I have enjoyed winter and all the snow so far, but ice wears me out! The numerous delays mixed with a few closures have provided some extra quiet work time in the office, and by the end of today, I know I can call it a very productive week!
Adult Education director, Pete Prichard and I have been working on plans for new adult programming in the Heating Ventilation and Cooling area, which will also have a pathway to coursework and a postsecondary degree in Alternative Energy. Our postsecondary partners will be Northwest State Community College and Owens State Community College. Industry certification will be sought in appropriate areas of alternative energy and wind turbine repair. Curriculum pathways are being laid out, equipment and instructional resources identified.
More good news came this week in the form of nearly finalize agreements with two area wind farms who will partner with Vantage and our postsecondary institutions as we develop the Alternative Energy Academy within the adult education program. The foundation skills for jobs in alternative energy already exist in both electrical trades and HVAC, and after a solid base of skills in one or both of these areas is attained, coursework in alternative energy, such as geothermal design, energy audits, and wind turbine repair can be completed. In addition to HVAC, a more rigorous electricity program will be offered to fully prepare students for work more jobs in this field. More news will be posted soon as plans develop further!
Many thanks to Pete Prichard for his interest in expanding the adult education program to offer full-time training which will be Pell grant eligible for financial aid for our adult students. Financial aid staff person Jackie Gunsett, has long been a proponent of more full-time programs as financial aid eligibility, which goes with full time programming, helps to keep enrollment strong and increases the chance that the program will flourish. Thanks Jackie for your commitment to Vantage program success!
One last thought--bring on more winter if it helps me get more project work like this completed! (And let's see if that groundhog was right--I don't think so).