Hands-on experience in sky-high career

Local News

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Students at Danville Area Community College are getting certified in a fast-growing field.

They’re learning how to work on wind turbines and are ready to join the workforce the day they graduate. Michael Holycross says getting to work with his hands is priceless.

“I’m more of a hands-on learning than anyone else. You throw a book at me, I’m not going to learn it. You let me do hands-on equipment, I can learn it in a snap.”

So, while he learns about wind turbines at DACC, he’s getting that experience.

“We treat the program like on-the-job training.”

Greg Hansbraugh is an alternative energy instructor for DACC. He says the students in his classes are well-rounded and prepared when it’s the real thing.

“We use the same type of tools and equipment they do in the field doing the same type of task that you’re going to do.”

But, the students are taught much more than just working with the tools.

“Be safe. Be as quick as you possibly can and work as a team.”

These students are certified the same way someone in the field is. When they graduate, they’re more than ready to take on a career in wind and employers know it.

“We have people calling almost every month asking for people to work.”

Knowing employers want their students excites the instructors.

“We are very proud here to have the reputation.”

But, for students like Holycross, the education isn’t the best part. Instead, it’s the family which comes with it.

“My favorite part is my classmates. I get along with everyone so well. We always joke with each other, have a great time. It’s the best part of being in the wind class.”

All of the students in the class are currently men, but some women do go through the program. One will graduate in May.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.