GWO training is expanding rapidly in North America. Colorado and Texas are ahead in this race with 11 training centers delivering increased training capacity to meet the growing demand for trained wind technicians in the American Wind Corridor. GWO asked four of these new training providers to share their motivation to adopting GWO standards training.
Safety One Training in Littleton, Colorado was founded in 1988, but after decades of experience in safety and rescue for snow vehicle operators employed by utilities and telecommunication services, the company expanded into training for the wind industry. Today, Safety One Training’s wind industry training facility includes a nacelle that provides more realistic training in an indoor environment. Most clients are independent service providers who, in turn, work for major wind turbines manufacturers and owner operators. Tamara Hebbert, Client Advisor for Safety One Training offers insights on why GWO adds value to them:
“We have longevity, are well-known in the market and will continue to build our offerings to the wind industry,”.
Not too far away in Broomfield, Colorado is another new GWO training provider, Workrise. For Workrise’s Training and Development Project Manager, Eric Garcia the GWO advantage is clear:
“The industry as a whole is shifting to GWO standardized training. We want to be in the lead with a well-trained and experienced team. All new technicians hired receive the basic safety and basic technical training, and other personalized training.”
In line with GWO requirements, training providers upload technicians’ complete course records to GWO’s WINDA database. WINDA then helps employers verify the training status training courses participants. In this way the workforce of independent service providers and other employers as can move easily from one wind farm to another following project requirements knowing their safety training record is following them whoever they work for.
Texas is the state with the largest installed base of wind turbines. It now also houses the first certified training provider in the United States to offer the GWO’s Blade Repair Standard. Advanced Blade Repair USA, based in Grand Prairie, Texas. Not surprisingly it focuses its expertise on filling gaps in wind turbine manufacturers and owner operators training. Jonathon Burgess, CEO explains:
“Our training is differentiated by our experience on wind farms, working with major manufacturer’s turbines such as Siemens Gamesa and Vestas. Our trained technicians can reduce downtime of turbines.”
Lastly, Tech Safety Lines of Carrollton, Texas has since 2002 operated with a trainer base built on fire fighters and emergency medical technicians who combine experience on the frontlines with knowledge of correct use of equipment. Expansion into wind industry safety was a natural extension of their competencies. Their faculties and equipment were key to this and a strong emphasis placed on purchasing and providing safety training equipment in line with real life wind industry purchasing specifications. Tech Safety Lines recently expanded its training programs to initially include GWO certified courses in first aid, manual handling, fire awareness and working at heights. This was later expanded to include advanced rescue and enhanced first aid training standards. Tech Safety Lines also is planning to add GWO more standards from GWO’s safety training portfolio.
Diane Waghorne, Founder, Owner and President of Tech Safety Lines puts principles at the core of how they build experience for wind technicians:
“We know we’re making a difference when we get the phone call or email saying that Tech Safety Lines helped someone get down to be able to go home and be with their family.”