The new Renewable Energy Systems Technology Program (REST) at Clackamas Community College has placed the college front and center of a growing, dynamic industry.
Students can choose from a one-year program that concludes with a REST certificate, or a two-year program that earns them an Associate of Applied Science degree.
“We’ve created a renewable technology degree that is not necessarily specific to wind turbine technicians or solar panel installers or geothermal technicians, but rather provides a more general approach,” says Scott Giltz, dean of Technology, Health Occupations and Workforce at CCC.
Giltz says the college is aligning with Oregon’s concept of “greening the existing work force.”
“We’re talking about a lot of processes already being used, and then applying it to renewable technologies,” he says. “For example, an electrician who becomes a wind turbine technician is still applying his skills; he’s just applying them 200 feet in the air.”
CCC brought a smaller model wind turbine and a 30-foot section of a large wind turbine blade to the campus as instructional tools. Soon, a solar panel array will be added to the renewable energy field laboratory.
These efforts put the college in good stead for a growing trend in the work force – helping the world run on smarter, cleaner energy.
“It’s an exciting field to be in, because you actually are working to make the world a better place,” Giltz says.
For more information about the Renewable Energy Systems Technology program at CCC, contact Deby McDowell at 503-594-3318.