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WindTV: Solid, dependable jobs up in the air

WindTV: Solid, dependable jobs up in the air

Latest WindTV episode highlights high-flying, well-paying jobs of wind techs

Putting on all the gear and getting strapped up for safety. Getting to your job by making a long ascent inside a giant tube of steel. And viewing the world from a vantage point that’s stunning and inspiring.


Anyone who has ever wondered what it’s like to work on a wind farm should take two minutes and view a video segment on Matt Crawford, lead wind technician for Alliant Energy in Iowa. Crawford’s experience as a wind tech is the subject of the latest segment on WindTV, the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) recently launched vehicle to highlight how wind works for America. All across America, wind technicians are working to keep reliable wind turbines generating kilowatt-hours. As highly valued and skilled workers, they’re getting paid well to do the enjoyable and fulfilling work.


In the video, Crawford describes “a day in the life of a wind tech,” as he characterizes his insights in the piece. At a time when many rural communities are losing young residents because jobs are scarce, wind power has allowed the still-youthful Crawford and his wife to live near family in Iowa. “I feel that we are middle class,” he says in the video. “I feel that the wind industry has been able to bring me and my wife back close to home and have the opportunity that if we wanted to, my wife wouldn’t have to work. We’d be able to survive just fine.”

 

The power of wind to create jobs, however, could stall. The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, and already developers are freezing plans for any new projects such as those that Crawford services. By passing an extension of the PTC, Congress will save American jobs currently in danger of being shipped overseas and help the wind industry support 500,000 American jobs by 2030 as envisioned by the U.S. Department of Energy in the George W. Bush administration. A new study finds that with stable tax policy, the wind industry can create and grow to almost 100,000 American jobs just in the next four years, including growing the wind manufacturing sector by one third to 46,000 American manufacturing jobs.

 

“AWEA salutes the outstanding skilled workers of the wind power industry—people like Nathan Crawford—who make wind power the reliable, job-generating energy source it is today,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “To create more jobs for people like Nathan, Congress must extend the Production Tax Credit as soon as possible.”

 

Crawford is certainly counting on a long future in wind power. In the video he shares the thrill of taking a new employee to the top of a tower, where the employee inevitably expresses awe when taking in both the view and the experience of working on an amazing technology. “Every time you hear that, it clicks that this is a pretty cool job,” says Crawford. “It’s pretty cool that I get to do this every day.”

 

WindTV is a showcase of video profiles of Americans whose lives have been positively impacted by the wind energy industry. The site, located at www.awea.org/windtv, features a different video profile each week.

 

To view the segment on Crawford and how wind power is generating well-paying jobs in America, go to WindTV.

 

Related articles:

 

WindTV: Wind power generates good jobs for young people, December 6, 2011

WindTV: Oregon turbine training program creates opportunity, November 28, 2011
New WindTV segment features Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, November 21, 2011
Veterans Day edition of WindTV: Jobs for vets and energy security, November 11, 2011

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Carl has been a part of the AWEA team since 2006. He brings both his expertise in communications as well as experience with the evolving wind energy industry to the job of overseeing AWEA's online and written publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, WINDPOWER Update, WINDPOWER Today, and various print materials. He has worked as a journalist in the energy industry as a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine and in the association sector as senior editor at Association Management magazine. He also has covered the home-building industry, where his areas of greatest interest were sustainable development and "smart growth," and has written articles for numerous other publications as a freelance writer. Carl received his B.A. from James Madison University and spent some time in New Orleans employed as a teacher as well as working with homeless youth.

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