With U. S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow standing in its 100-foot shadow, Kalamazoo Valley Community College will welcome the latest addition to its arsenal of resources for training the next generation of wind-energy technicians on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
A training tower, erected in the parking lot of the KVCC Michigan Technical Education Center in the college’s Groves Campus, will be dedicated and demonstrated beginning at 12:30 p.m.
A ribbon cutting and climbing demonstration is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Sen. Stabenow and her Democratic colleague Carl Levin, supported by the legislative delegation from Michigan, sponsored the congressionally directed grant awarding $550,000 through the U. S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.
With the basic tower structure provided by the college, the federal funds financed the purchase and installation of the $280,000 worth of tower-related apparatus, while the balance of the funding provided specialized equipment for KVCC’s Wind Turbine Technician Academy, the only one of its kind in the nation.
In addition to Sen. Stabenow, scheduled to make remarks at the Groves Campus located off of 9th Street along I-94 in Texas Township, Susan Miller, the newly elected chair of the KVCC Board of Trustees, KVCC President Marilyn Schlack, and James DeHaven, KVCC’s vice president for economic and business development.
Demonstrating how the tower will be used in the climbing and safety training will be one of the academy’s instructors and a recent graduate now employed in the wind-energy industry.