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Success Stories

Prior Experience Made The WTTA A Great Fit!

Prior to the WTTA, Blake worked 23 years in industrial maintenance at one location (13 years as a technician, 5 years as a manager, and 5 years as an operation engineer). When his employment came to an end as a result of the economic environment, he sought out an opportunity that aligned well with his background, provided a sense of excitement and enabled him to relearn skills that had not been utilized for some time. His experience with electrical, mechanical, plumbing and customer service, as well as interest in wind energy, made the WTTA extremely appealing and a great fit. After intense research into various wind technician programs, Kalamazoo Valley Community College's WTTA attributes were deemed to be superior to others. It also satisfied his important requirement to be close to home and family. Blake graduated from the fourth academy in December, 2011. Blake was hired by Enxco, almost immediately, after graduation in February, 2012, as an Entry Level Technician. After just 2-1/2 months of employment, he went to advanced training in California, took the highly challenging Senior Technician exam, passed it and was promoted to this position. He believes this fast track could not have been achieved without his training from KVCC's WTTA. Blake currently works in Michigan.
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The Perfect Fit At The Perfect Time

Ben Urban's English degree landed him part-time work in a library. To make ends meet, he also drove a bread delivery truck, but his life is changing. Since August, when he graduated from Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Production Technician Academy, he has been working more than 40 hours a week in the manufacturing field. Before he enrolled in the academy, Urban reviewed the school's information packet that detailed the state's shortage of skilled workers. "It seemed like it was perfectly made to fit local companies' needs", Urban said of the training program. "For me, it seemed like the perfect fit at the perfect time". Urban said he received a phone call and was offered work within an hour after his second post-graduation interview. "The training was absolutely worthwhile; I am very happy", Urban said.
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Certain he made the right choice!

Russell Tillery, a Battle Creek native who lives in Benton Harbor, is in the U.S. Naval Reserve. "I've had a few different jobs, but nothing I saw myself doing for a long time," Tillery said. "Overall, I think this academy was a great choice and the GI Bill made paying for class a lot easier. It helped out a lot," he said. Russell looked into other area police academies before settling on Kalamazoo Valley. "Kalamazoo Valley has a better hiring rate," he said. "The reputation speaks for itself." Tillery is certain he made the right choice. "The entire experience has been positive, all due to the command here," he said. "We received all the tools required to do the job and do it correctly." Upon graduation, Tillery was hired by the Chikaming Township Police Department.
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Roderick Hathaway knew he would become a police officer.

Roderick Hathaway, of Kalamazoo, served in the United States Coast Guard in Marblehead, Ohio, and knew that when he left active duty, he would train to become a police officer. "I've always wanted to attend this academy," he said. "The reputation of this academy was a huge factor and the GI Bill was icing on the cake." Hathaway said he is impressed that so many of the academy instructors are currently working in the law enforcement field. "This is the job we are going to be doing and they are teaching us how to do it," he said. Hathaway has been hired by the South Haven Police Department.
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Searching for something new!

Cody Hopkins was searching for something new when he became aware of KVCC's Wind Turbine Technician Academy. He had held several jobs in construction, animal breeding and medical device businesses but was anxious to pursue a career, in a leading edge growth field, that aligned with his desire to be outdoors. After doing his research and making a visit to the Groves Center, he was sold by the positive atmosphere, practical curriculum, and instructor enthusiasm/expertise that the WTTA offered. Cody graduated from the 4th WTTA (December, 2011). After being hired by EDF Renewable Services (the largest wind turbine service company) and working for 6 months in Wyoming, Cody was promoted to Advanced Technician and Safety Lead and relocated to Michigan.
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BZEE Certified

The Wind Turbine Technician Academy at Kalamazoo Valley is the only school in the United States certified by the BZEE. Our instructors have been trained in Germany and are qualified to certify graduates for this international credential. Bildungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien (BZEE)is translated to mean Training Centre for Renewable Energy. It was founded as an association in 2000 by the German wind energy industry, and the German Wind Energy Association (BWE). Today, its members include many of the world's leading wind energy companies and organizations. BZEE offers certified industry-relevant training courses with a high level of practical content for the wind energy sector. An advisory board made up of industry players determines the contents and high quality standards of the courses. The corresponding BZEE certificates, which are seen as an important sign of quality in the sector, ensure training complies with these high standards.
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AWEA Seal of Approval

The Wind Turbine Technician Academy at Kalamazoo Valley Community College has received the American Wind Energy Association's Seal of Approval. A committee of industry professionals reviewed the program and found the quality of the course materials to overwhelmingly satisfy AWEA's wind turbine technician core skill-set criteria, ensuring that the program will adequately prepare a wind turbine service technician for an entry-level position in the field. The Wind Turbine Technician Academy (WTTA) is a competency-based training program which certifies students have demonstrated mastery of core technical skills essential to perform effectively and safely as wind turbine technicians. Program content aligns with the knowledge and skill requirements for success in manufacturers' post employment training programs where proprietary systems are explored.
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ENSA Certified

Kalamazoo Valley Community College has partnered with ENSA North America to provide industry renowned work at heights safety training. Students completing the 24 week Wind Turbine Technician Academy are challenged through the ENSA Global Wind Organization Basic Safety Training or GWO_BST. Students completing the ENSA GWO_BST are held to the same high standards as those who receive the exact same training in industry. Completion of the ENSA GWO_BST involves Fire Awareness, Work at Heights, First Aid, and Manual Handling. Tom Sutton, Director of Wind Energy and Technical Services, is an ENSA instructor and travels the world providing this very training. Students can finish the Wind Turbine Technician Academy with confidence that the training they received may one day save their life or the life of a coworker.
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