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Online, internet-based training for wind technicians work on wind farms

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
101 COMMERCIAL WAY Tehachapi, CA 93561-1403
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Online, internet-based training for wind technicians work on wind farms
Agency: USDA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $89,483.00


The Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development have identified development of alternative energy as a top priority. In light of this important policy priority, the Department of Energy's technical report, 20% Wind Energy by 2030, projects an exploding demand for wind energy-related workers. Regarding wind development, on average, one technician is needed for every 10 wind turbines. Representatives of the American Wind Energy Association have documented the rapid rise of wind turbine installations and noted that "The training for wind technicians needs to keep up."Early stage workforce development and training paradigms for wind technicians will need to undergo significant change if the workforce needs are to be met. Workforce training practice and culture within the wind industry is driven by a relatively small number of experts with deep field experience and knowledge. The current training methodology is dominated by face-to-face, classroom-based, instructor present training. Thus, the industry is faced with the challenge of expanding explicit knowledge and developing dissemination strategies/processes that can transfer this explicit knowledge to far greater numbers of learners (workforce) in more efficient ways. Most community and technical college programs require one to two-year residencies with all the typical related costs of tuition, housing, family separation, and lost work-related income. Airstreams Renewables Inc. (ARI) has designed and successfully delivered since 2003 safety-focused and skills-based training that places wind technicians into the field in approximately one month. Outcomes of the integration of online, virtual training into current traditional, classroom-based programs would include changes in knowledge, action and conditions. The online training would allow greater flexibility in the training demands of the wind industry, as well as reducing financial costs related to dislocation (travel, lodging costs, time away from work, etc.). Developing online training for entry-level wind turbine technicians would also assist in the training of the rapidly expanding workforce, address the special needs of students, and help to reduce the limitations of current training methodologies.

Principal Investigator:

Jeff Duff
President, COO

Business Contact:

Lisa Gilbert
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Small Business Information at Submission:

101 COMMERCIAL WAY Tehachapi, CA 93561

EIN/Tax ID: 263976335
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No