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United States

Employers Need Wind Power Technicians 170

Hugh Pickens writes "NPR reports that Oklahoma is one state benefitting from the energy boom. With a wind power rush underway, companies are competing to secure the windiest spots, while breathing life into small towns. The problem is, each turbine requires regular maintenance during its 20-year lifespan, with a requirement of one turbine technician for every 10 turbines on the ground. So even with a job that can pay a good starting salary (for technicians with a GED or high school diploma who complete a four-week turbine maintenance training program), there aren't enough qualified technicians to do the work. 'It seems odd, with America's unemployment problem, to have a shortage of workers for a job that can pay in excess of $20 per hour. But being a turbine technician isn't easy,' says Logan Layden, adding that technicians typically have to climb 300 foot high towers to service the turbines. Oscar Briones is one of about a dozen students who recently finished a maintenance training program after leaving his job as a motorcycle mechanic and now has his pick of employers. 'So I was in the market to find something else to do, and this seemed pretty exciting. Being 300 feet in the air, that's pretty exciting in its self. So yeah, I'm a thrill seeker.'"

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