Each year a student in the Wind Turbine Technician Academy at Kalamazoo Valley Community College receives a scholarship. This year the award goes to Corey Luther, a firefighter from South Carolina.
The Stoner Schmiege Wind Turbine Technician Academy Scholarship of $7,500 goes to Luther, who has been taking the six-month training while his wife, Caitlin, their seven-month-old son and preschool-aged daughter are at home in South Carolina.
"It’s a huge load off my mind and at the same time, it’s humbling," Luther says of receiving the scholarship."There are a lot of other students who are as deserving as me."
Luther says he discovered Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Wind Turbine Technician Academy while researching career options online. He was impressed with the program’s solid reputation and the potential for employment that the field offers.
“I’ve always been interested in renewables," he says, "but in the region where I live, it’s hard to find careers that involve renewables. This will get me involved on a large scale because of the growth in the wind industry."
After graduation in December he will return to South Carolina to begin his job search. Luther says he’s excited about his future as a wind turbine technician. Heights have never bothered him, so climbing and working on a wind turbine appeals to him. "It’s kind of exhilarating, really," he says of the view from atop a turbine.
"I got up here (to Kalamazoo) not knowing at all what to expect, but I’m excited to be here and I highly recommend it," he says. Luther said the students and staff in the program are supportive and friendly.
The scholarship was established in 2011 by Janet Stoner and Rick Schmiege in support of Kalamazoo Valley’s Wind Turbine Technology Academy.
Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Dawn Kemp, Kalamazoo Valley Community College