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SERT building poised for greatness

October 10, 2014
Estherville News

When Dan Lutat, director of the Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program at Iowa Lakes Community College, gave Estherville Rotarians a tour of the Sustainable Energy Resources & Technologies building Thursday, there were a lot of turned heads - a lot of impressed turned heads.

The building will house training labs for environmental studies and water quality, electrical engineering, HVAC and wind energy students as well as host industrial training. With its state-of-the-art equipment, both students and those already working in the industry will find the best training available.

What makes this facility so unique is not that it meets student needs but that it goes far beyond them. It anticipates training many years down the road. The fact that the college has drawn in a number of industry partners helps as well. And having WindTest come onboard will help immensely too.

As Lutat points out, the jobs are there now in the wind industry as well as in HVAC, water quality, robotics and system controls - all disciplines taught in the SERT building. It's simply making students aware of those jobs. And those jobs will only increase through time as America moves toward having a greater and greater percentage of its energy come from renewable resources.

And with more people retiring all the time from the HVAC and water quality and testing industries, new employees with up-to-the-minute training are needed - and needed now.

A huge benefit for Iowa is that many of the graduates of these programs will remain in the state - working for wind companies and municipalities, private business and government. They'll raise families here, build homes here and spend money here. They'll be the next generation of Iowans who will make our state a leader in renewable energy.

The decision by the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees to buy the former Medieval Glass building and remodel it as the SERT building was indeed visionary. It was also incredibly practical.

This facility is like a stone thrown into a pond. The ripples will undoubtedly go on forever.

 
 
 

 

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