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Iowa Lakes wind energy program gets national air time

February 1, 2017

As the director of Sustainable Energy Resources & Technologies at Iowa Lakes Community College, Dan Lutat is used to spending time in the air, training wind turbine technicians.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, he was on the air, speaking about the nation’s fastest-growing occupation — wind turbine technician — for a National Public Radio broadcast out of WBUR in Boston.

“Really, job placement takes care of itself,” Lutat said to “Here & Now” interviewer Robin Young. “The dilemma that graduates have from these programs is that they've got to choose which company to take a job with. They're being fought over because the demand for properly trained technicians is very high.”

Wind turbine technician numbers are expected to double by 2024 compared to 2014, according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Lutat expects demand for technicians to continue as fossil fuel companies seek to diversify their portfolios.

“We can generate 10 times more electricity from wind alone than the continent's going to use for the foreseeable future,” Lutat told Young.

At Iowa Lakes, the two-year technician program costs about $21,000 for both years, including room and board. A single internship between the first and second year of the program can earn wind students enough money to pay off that entire bill, and there are scholarships available as well, Lutat said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the 2015 median pay for wind turbine technicians at $51,050 per year.

To listen to Here & Now’s interview with Lutat, visit www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/01/31/wind-turbine-technician. A transcript is also available there.

For more information on the Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program at Iowa Lakes, visit www.iowalakes.edu/windenergy

Dan Lutat, director of Sustainable Energy Resources & Technologies at Iowa Lakes Community College, wears safety gear used by wind turbine technicians. The college’s turbine can be seen behind him.
Dan Lutat, director of Sustainable Energy Resources & Technologies at Iowa Lakes Community College, wears safety gear used by wind turbine technicians. The college’s turbine can be seen behind him.
 
Dan Lutat, director of Sustainable Energy Resources & Technologies at Iowa Lakes Community College, demonstrates safety gear to a student.
Dan Lutat, director of Sustainable Energy Resources & Technologies at Iowa Lakes Community College, demonstrates safety gear to a student.
 

For More Information:

Dan Lutat at 712-362-8374 or dlutat@iowalakes.edu

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