VICE News: These former coal workers are training to be wind technicians
By Arielle Duhaime-Ross, VICE News
A Chinese-owned wind turbine company is trying to recruit workers — in the heart of coal country.
Wind turbine technician is the fastest-growing job in the country, but the workforce has yet to top 5,000 nationally. This summer, wind turbine company GoldWind Americas held free seminars in Wyoming, a state that also happens to be the largest coal producer in the U.S., to drum up interest in alternative energy labor.
The sessions were designed to give potential recruits a sense of what it takes to maintain wind turbines for a living. But many of the attendees were ex–coal workers who had lost their jobs in recent years, like Jason Willbanks.
“Last year was a horrible time to be unemployed up here in northeastern Wyoming, for sure,” he told VICE News during one of the seminars.