Montana State University's Great Falls College of Technology (MSU-Great Falls) has received $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to train wind-energy technicians and create wind-energy industrial technology programs. The grant will be used to create a partnership in wind energy between several MSU-Great Falls campuses over the next three years.

Joe Schaffer, interim dean & chief executive officer (CEO) at MSU-GF, said, Our sister campuses across the state have pieces of this puzzle. They have expertise in specific areas, such as mechanics, electrical, (and) energy, and when we found that these individual campuses were also looking at wind energy and energy across the state, collectively we have the pieces to put together a shared program.

An advisory panel will help the college put together its wind program; one of the members of the panel is a company called Gaelectric.

The Ireland-based company said that students enrolled at the MSU program could become employees of Gaelectric.

Colin McGowan, CEO of Gaelectric, said, As an industry and a region we must be prepared by having an educated work force located at the epicenter of wind energy activity. We believe this program at MSU Great Falls will greatly assist in developing the necessary skills for individuals to work on these wind farm developments.

Gaelectric says that it expects to make a major announcement about a wind development project in the next two months.