WOODWARD, OK (KSWO) – As part of the Wind Catcher Energy Connection project, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), Invenergy, and GE Renewable Energy announced a partnership with High Plains Technology Center (HPTC) and Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) that will equip students for jobs in the wind energy sector.
"The Wind Catcher project isn't just about harnessing Oklahoma's rich energy resources, it's about creating family-sustaining job opportunities for Oklahomans," said Stuart Solomon, President of PSO. "This partnership with High Plains Technology Center and Oklahoma Panhandle State University will create a jobs-ready workforce to continue Oklahoma's energy leadership long into the future."
The partnership is set to provide $200,000 in total scholarships as well as state-of-the-art training equipment for students.
"I graduated from the HPTC wind program, and I am extremely grateful for what the people and training at High Plains brought me," said Ike McVicker, HPTC graduate and Site Manager at NRG's Sleeping Bear/Buffalo Wind facility. "From troubleshooting complex electrical issues, to hands-on mechanical and hydraulic systems, their training covers it all. It's amazing to have a job in an industry I love, and to be in a position now where I'm the one hiring technicians!"
Dwight R. Hughes, Superintendent/CEO of HPTC said: "Wind energy is the second-fastest growing employment sector in the United States, and this is a tremendous opportunity for students in northwest Oklahoma to be able to train to be a part of it. With the known skills gap within the state and the opportunity the Wind Catcher project represents, this partnership demonstrates CareerTech's agility in responding to industry workforce needs when we are at the table."