Iron Workers Fill The Needs Of Expanding Wind Energy Sector

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With more than 40,000 active wind turbines across the country and new construction in 29 states, the Iron Workers, IMPACT, and the Apprenticeship and Training Department are exhibiting their commitment to Wind Turbine Training in a bid to fill the needs of the constantly expanding green energy sector.

Currently, six Iron Worker Local Unions across the United States offer Wind Turbine Training classes, and the program continues to grow.

In November 2012, Iron Workers Local 22, Indianapolis, announced the addition of hands-on wind turbine training at its apprenticeship and training facility as part of an ongoing effort to better serve the construction industry’s demands for green energy projects in the region.

Iron Worker wind turbine training courses date from 2010, when the Department of Labor (DOL) awarded the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) and the Iron Workers Apprenticeship and Training Department a grant under the green energy training partnership.  IMPACT used the grant to set up the first five training programs, under which 629 Iron workers received training.

According to Lee Worley, Executive Director of Apprenticeship and Training, more locals are stepping up to fill the wind turbine erection needs of communities and construction companies. “The DOL grant ran through January 2012, but locals—like Local 22—have indicated that they are more than willing to make the investment in setting up their own training.”  At $45,000, the price tag for all the required training equipment isn’t cheap, Worley explained.

“All of our locals are serious about safety and training to meet the needs of the wind energy industry,” said Iron Workers General President Walter Wise.

Iron Workers remain committed to fulfilling the needs of green energy partners, Wise said. “With the expansion of our wind turbine training capability, the Iron Workers will be able to meet the demands for safe, qualified wind turbine erectors throughout our country.”

Under an agreement with the National Training Fund, each Local offering Wind Turbine Training must train a minimum of 30 Ironworkers per year.

The following Iron Worker Locals have Wind Turbine Training programs in place:

• Local 6, Buffalo, N.Y.
• Local 27, Salt Lake City
• Local 263, Dallas/Fort Worth
• Local 433, Los Angeles
• Local 444, Joliet, Ill.

For more information about Iron Workers Wind Turbine Training, visit www.impact-net.org.