Pueblo, CO – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet visited Vestas Towers Pueblo and led a group of high school students on a tour of the wind energy manufacturing facility to highlight the need to bring the public and private sectors together to equip students with the innovative skills they need to compete and lead in the 21st century economy.
“Too often, we see our schools and our businesses as separate entities, but that’s just not the case,” Bennet said. “Here in Pueblo schools and companies are partnering to train people for high-paying jobs in their own communities. These partnerships can strengthen our education system and help students see the vast array of opportunities available to them in their own backyard.”
Bennet and the students also met with local Vestas officials and representatives from Pueblo Community College to talk about career opportunities available for students in science and engineering and about how we can partner private business and public education to prepare kids for the jobs of the future. The students are part of a pre-collegiate program run by Pueblo City Schools and PCC. Students are able to identify a field of interest and then earn an associate’s degree upon graduating high school or apply credits to a 4 year college program.
Since October 2008, PCC has partnered with Vestas to provide training employees for the new Vestas Towers plant. Since then, PCC’s Economic & Workforce Development Division has trained nearly 500 people for jobs at the Vestas facility.
The Pueblo tower factory is the largest wind tower manufacturing facility in the world. Vestas began construction on the factory, south of Pueblo, in September 2008. The facility shipped its first finished product on May 28, 2010, via railroad. Altogether, Vestas employs about 3,000 people in North America, including more than 1,600 in Colorado.