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Connecting Communities & Careers

Governor Northam Announces Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance to Build Wind Energy Workforce in Virginia

Posted by on Oct 16, 2020 in Adult Education, Centura College, Centura Norfolk, Community Connections, Press Release, Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Careers, Spotlight Feature

New College Institute, Centura College, and Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy will join forces to position Virginia as leader in offshore wind industry training

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the formation of Virginia’s first offshore and onshore wind workforce training collaborative, the Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance. The program will offer industry required certifications that are critical to the operations and long-term maintenance of wind projects. The Governor made the announcement addressing the 2020 Offshore WINDPOWER Virtual Summit hosted by the American Wind Energy Association.

The New College Institute, which will serve as the host institution, is joining forces with Centura College and the Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy to create the Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance (the Alliance). This partnership will bring courses certified by the Global Wind Organization and National Center for Construction, Education, and Research wind technician training to onshore and offshore wind projects to Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region.

“Building a strong wind energy workforce will give the Commonwealth a significant competitive advantage in attracting onshore and offshore wind projects,” said Governor Northam. “There is currently massive potential for offshore wind up and down the East Coast, and we look forward to working with our partners across Virginia and in neighboring states to grow this industry and reap the tremendous economic benefits for our communities, especially those that have been historically disadvantaged.”

The Alliance represents an important first step in what will be a much larger workforce development effort to support the renewable energy industries in Virginia. Course offerings will span a wide variety of wind energy related disciplines and provide students with a customizable portfolio of training options. Programs will range from specific certifications to a year-long wind turbine technician program that bundles several industry-recognized certifications and prepares students to serve as certified installation technicians, inspectors, and maintenance technicians. The Alliance plans to start offering programs in early 2021.

“Virginia is actively working to welcome new and expanding business in the offshore and onshore wind sector,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These companies require a skilled workforce to reach their highest potential, and fortunately, because of our deep maritime roots, that workforce is here.”

The wind industry in the United States continues to experience exponential growth, supporting 120,000 American jobs in 2019, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The AWEA also estimates that the wind industry has invested more than $208 billion in wind projects across the country with the capacity to produce at least 109 gigawatts of power to date. Dominion Energy and Avangrid Renewables have nearly 400 offshore wind turbines under development off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina.

“Clean energy jobs in construction and operations will serve as a catalyst for delivering clean, renewable energy to the Commonwealth,” said Josh Bennett, Vice President of Offshore Wind for Dominion Energy. “The formation of the Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance is a critical step to developing a talented offshore wind workforce here in Virginia.”

“As Avangrid Renewables builds the future of clean energy offshore, establishing the workforce that will maintain and operate these projects for decades will be critical,” said Eric Thumma, Interim Vice President of Offshore Wind for Avangrid Renewables. “The Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance will facilitate the development of that workforce and the success of the offshore wind industry.”

“Virginia is taking important steps forward in harnessing the significant economic and job opportunities of American wind power,” said Tom Kiernan, American Wind Energy Association CEO. “Wind turbine technicians are America’s fastest growing career and today’s foresighted move to train additional workers in this field shows that the Commonwealth continues to lead our nation toward a cleaner and more prosperous energy future.”

Located in Martinsville, the New College Institute is a Commonwealth Higher Education Center that partners with industry and academia to provide post-secondary education, industry relevant workforce development and training opportunities in cutting-edge industries.

Centura College has seven education centers across eastern Virginia, including Tidewater Tech, which is home to the largest welding training center in the Commonwealth, with 100 welding booths. Centura is also parent to Aviation Institute of Maintenance, which has 13 aviation technician training centers nationwide and focuses on the repair and maintenance of aircraft including engineering fiberglass and composites.

Located in Norfolk, the Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy (MAMA) is the largest training center for United States Coast Guard (USCG) certifications on the East Coast. MAMA is certified by the USCG to teach 90 deck and engineering courses that are critical to the safe operation of the United States commercial fleet.

For more information on the Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance, please visit vaoffshorewind.org/workforce.

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Centura College Offers Essential Allied Health and Trades Career Training

Posted by on Sep 8, 2020 in Adult Education, Career Change, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Medical Assisting, Press Release, Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Careers

Centura College continues to provide training in allied health and skilled trades fields, so graduates have the opportunity for employment in essential careers.

Written by Jul DeGeus

The United States has experienced the suspending of “non-essential” career markets in order to decelerate the circulation of COVID-19. With this deferral, select occupations have been declared essential workers, or those who perform services that are essential to continue vital foundation operations in communities, cities, and states. Some of  Virginia’s essential businesses have included allied health and trades focused industries such as health care or medical services, automotive repair and home improvement facilities. Centura College training programs provides individuals with education that leads to an essential career path. Below are some of the essential workers training offered at Centura College:

Centura College’s CDL course provides students the opportunity to learn and apply appropriate knowledge to successfully secure a Class “A” operating license and relevant endorsement through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The student will know and understand the efforts made by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration to help professional drivers remain safe and be aware of penalties for major violations of CDL guidelines. Students will study vehicle systems, control systems and practice behind the wheel in preparation of the DMV written and practical examination for a class “A” license.

A Medical Assisting career can open the doors to working alongside doctors and nurses in many healthcare settings. Some people focus their training on the clinical side of the business so they can have a more direct hands-on approach with patients. Others focus on the office management side of the business, where management, administration, and technological skills allow them to excel. Before graduating, learners take the American Medical Tech (AMT) Exam. Once passed, students earn the RMA Credential and are a Registered Medical Assistant.

Individuals who enjoy working with their hands, machines, and metals should consider the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program. This training provides students with the technical skills necessary for entry-level employment in the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry. This program explains typical HVAC systems followed by practical hands-on competencies for the three areas of HVAC: mechanical, electrical, and airflow systems, including extensive troubleshooting of each area. Students will have the opportunity to complete HVAC certifications, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-Hour Safety Certification and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 608 Refrigerant Transition Certification.

The Wind Turbine Technician program provides students with the technical skills to install, maintain, and repair wind turbines. Students are introduced with the fundamentals of generating electrical power from wind energy. Areas of study include wind turbine safety, climbing wind towers, electrical theory, electrical circuits, electrical test equipment, alternating current and three-phase systems, circuits breakers and fuses, switching devices, wind turbine power distribution systems, fasteners and torquing, bearings, lubrication, and hydraulic systems associated with wind turbines. The program provides students the knowledge and skills to qualify for entry-level employment as a Wind Turbine Technician working in the manufacturing, construction, maintenance, and operation aspects of the wind industry. The program provides the opportunity to complete Maritime based certification(s), the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) Introduction to Power Industry and Wind Turbine Maintenance Level I certification(s), and CPR/Basic Life Support.

For more information on Centura College’s programs, call 877.523.9528 or visit www.CenturaCollege.edu.

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

Centura College to Train Wind Turbine Technicians

Posted by on Sep 1, 2020 in Centura College

Centura College Partners with Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy to Train Wind Turbine Technicians for the Largest Ocean-Based Wind Farm in the US.

MAMA and Centura representiatives

Dr. Mike Lanouette of Centura College (left) and Captain Ed Nanartowich of Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy (right).

Written by Nicole Gleaton

Dr. Mike Lanouette of Centura College and Captain Ed Nanartowich of Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy (MAMA) signed a partnership agreement to address the upcoming need for wind turbine technicians in Southeastern Virginia. The Virginia coast is slated for development of the largest ocean-based wind farm in the United States. Foundations for the first two 6-megawatt wind turbines were installed in May and operation is scheduled to begin by late 2020. The maintenance and operation of the turbine equipment will require trained technicians.

Centura College and Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy were the first education systems in Virginia to answer the call to develop and implement an accredited Wind Turbine Technician program. The program was designed with the guidelines of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Department of Labor. Dr. Lanouette has this to say about the partnership, “Centura College is very excited to partner with Maritime Academy. This collaboration shows the advantage and incredible value of both of our skill-based training intuitions. We have been receiving communications weekly from state and national representatives who are impressed that we have produced a one-of-a-kind industry standard program and partnership to meet the needs of the renewable energy field so quickly.”

Centura College will offer three wind turbine specific certifications within the program and MAMA will offer six US Coast Guard approved or Global Wind Association approved courses, aggregating in a seamless skill-based training program for students. Says Ed Nanartowich, “The collective expertise and cooperation between Centura College and Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy will significantly promote the acceleration of Global Wind Organization certified training. This places Hampton Roads right in the middle of a significant growth industry and can only bode well for the economic growth of Virginia.”

The two wind turbines in progress now are just the beginning. The full scope of the project will be determined by site conditions, but it is estimated that there will be 180 wind turbines in a larger scale commercial wind farm in the 112,800-acre lease area off the coast. “Within the next four years, the Wind Energy industry will be booming in Hampton Roads. With almost 200 wind turbines scheduled to be installed offshore, we will have a need for many turbine installers, inspectors, and maintenance technicians. Centura College is making sure that we have trained and certified technicians to serve the industry’s need as wind energy comes to town,” says Dr. Joel English, Executive Vice President of Centura College.

Classes start in October 2020. Individuals interested in the Wind Turbine Technician program should contact Centura College directly at 757-853-2121 or visit the Norfolk campus at 7020 N. Military Highway, Norfolk, Virginia 23518.


About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.