Coal Workers in Wyoming Can Get Free Training for Wind Jobs

When we talk about transitioning to a green economy without leaving behind workers in outdated industries, a lot of these conversations describe hypotheticals. While it makes us feel better to suggest that coal miners could switch to a clean energy sector, without proper training programs in place, thatís a lot easier said than done.

So hallelujah for Goldwind, a manufacturer of wind turbines, for going the extra mile to offer free training to coal workers to get a job in the wind industry. Goldwind is in the process of putting hundreds of turbines in Wyoming, a state thatís long been dominated by the coal industry.

Per Goldwindís American CEO, David Halligan, the decision to specifically court coal workers for these new positions is that there is a good deal of overlap in skills between employees at coal mines and wind farms. ďIf we can tap into that market and also help out folks that might be experiencing some challenges in the workforce today, I think that it can be a win-win situation,Ē said Halligan.

Wyoming is either a great or terrible choice of location for this type of project, depending on whom you ask. Because the state has some of the strongest winds in the country and lacks the dense population and urban development to get in the way, Wyoming is ripe for wind farms.

On the other hand, itís fair to say that Wyoming legislators have been downright hostile when it comes to renewable energy. Wyoming is already the only state to put a tax on wind energy. Earlier this year, Republicans pushed a bill that would essentially block state utility companies from using solar and wind energy.

Legislation like that only serves to benefit the owners of a dying coal industry, who undoubtedly fund the campaigns of the state lawmakers. However, if companies like Goldwind can play a role in reviving the economy, elected officials will probably have to reconsider their coal, oil and gas focus.

President Donald Trump has made a big deal out of his ability to bring back coal jobs, while even those within his administration admit that itís a futile goal. Since Trump has taken office, 6,000 coal workers have lost their jobs, which amounts to 8 percent of the total coal workforce. Even with a coal-friendly leader in the White House, coal executives must not see a real way forward.

If thereís a twist to this emerging story in Wyoming, itís that Goldwind is owned by China. Itís a shame that American companies arenít leading the charge to convert energy employees to a green industry in Wyoming, but hopefully theyíll follow Goldwindís example.

The solar industry should take note, too. Research shows that retraining workers from the coal industry into solar jobs is also surprisingly realistic and cheap Ė now itís just a matter of companies or the government taking the initiative to make it happen!

Cheers to Goldwind for paving the way in the Wyoming and giving local workers the opportunity to jump from a hemorrhaging industry to one with a long, secure future.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

78 comments

Twila H
Twila H3 months ago

Thanks for the interesting article!

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Carl R
Carl R3 months ago

Thanks!!!!

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S3 months ago

good

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J.J. v
J.J. v3 months ago

Well done Goldwind! That's a win/win.

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Daniela M
Daniela M3 months ago

@ S M - Yes, yes; I complete agree with u! The audience (and Trump fans, at large) clap like pre-programmed happy seals at anything he says, regardless of if it even makes any sense!!! It's just the basest level possible! :O

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Daniela M
Daniela M3 months ago

As was pointed out by a commentator on the panel on CNN, coal will be needed for the wind turbines. So Trump premise is a complete falsehood!

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S M
S M3 months ago

Watching the WH video of Trump's speech of withdrawing from Paris Accord was listening to someone stuck in campaign mode and very little of it applicable to the issue of climate change.

He projected to 2040 and seemed to think workers would still be trooping in to work a shift as if back in 1950s. I think technology and robots are not in his sphere of thinking. To hear him boast of reopening and opening for a first time coal mines and his words he chose made one feel some disconsolate sympathy for a feebleness of his thinking and how he unaware commerce, industry already moved or moving away from the health hazards to humans and world of coal.

What is striking is how the audience assembled there were like visually and when frantically clapping an audience we see in N Korea when, regardless of good or bad rhetoric, wanting to please!

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S3 months ago

very good

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Danuta W
Danuta W3 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Krzysztof J
Krzysztof J3 months ago

Ty

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