Ecotech Institute’s Program Director, Auston Van Slyke was recently highlighted by Wind Systems Magazine, a monthly publication covering all aspects of the wind energy industry. Published in the magazine’s December 2016 issue, the detailed two-page interview provides an insider’s look into the wind turbine technician job and what makes it one of the fastest-growing professions today.
Ecotech Institute’s Wind Energy Technology Program Director, Auston Van Slyke was recently featured in a thought-provoking article by U.S. News & World Report. The piece highlights Van Slyke’s first encounter with wind turbines, which inspired him to learn more about the technology, and provides an informative overview of the wind turbine technician (a.k.a. wind tech) profession.
Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing energy industries in the world — and for good reason. Wind energy is 100 percent clean, and doesn’t pollute the air or water like fossil fuel-based power plants; it’s based upon an endless supply of energy that does not need to be imported and it is one of the most cost-efficient renewable energy technologies that exist today.
We all know that the future belongs to renewable energy, and sooner or later we may all power our homes, cars and devices from renewable energy sources. However, some companies think that this future has already arrived.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are most grateful for, from friends and family to pumpkin pie. At Ecotech Institute, we are additionally thankful for the innovation and hard work that makes clean energy technology a reality. In honor of the holiday, we’d like to give thanks to renewable energy.
2016 has been a big year for renewable energy. Jobs in the field are on the rise, the price of clean energy technology is continuing to drop, and more and more people — both at the residential and corporate level — are adopting renewable energy. Here are five reasons to be hopeful about the new energy economy.
Officially, the winter solstice is weeks away, but depending on where you live, temperatures may have already started to drop. Now is a great time to make sure you are prepared for colder weather. Weatherizing your home can have a major impact on your energy use during the winter months.
Here are a few things you can do to make your home more energy efficient this year.
From Dracula, to Angel and Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to Marceline of Adventure Time, vampires have taken many forms in pop culture over the years. But while these fictional monsters provide thrills and entertainment, many people don’t know that a different type of vampire is lurking in every household — energy vampires.
Still trying to decide what you’ll be for Halloween this year? Why not get a little creative and create your own costume with a renewable energy theme? Here are a few ideas that are sure to make you the life of the party.
If you keep up with renewable energy industry news, you’ve probably noticed a lot of headlines about offshore wind energy. The development of offshore wind farms has already gained traction in several European countries over the past couple of years, but now other nations are joining in, including the United States. Here are a few things you should know about this growing trend.
The good news about the internet is that it provides us with an endless supply of information and resources. The bad news about the internet is that you have to navigate an endless supply of information and resources to find the content you really want.
Keeping up with industry news is important if you want to pursue a career in renewable energy. Here are five blogs covering industry news, innovations and policies that you can add to your digital reading list.
Looking for a job can be a daunting task, especially when you're looking to launch your career in renewable energy. Entering a new industry can feel like stepping into the unknown, and anyone who says they've never felt nervous about a job interview is probably not being entirely honest.
September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. To honor this observance, here are four Hispanic leaders that are making a mark on the energy sector, from researchers and policy-makers, to advocates for diversity in the industry.
Writing a good cover letter and building a solid resume are two universal skills that all job seekers must learn. But depending on the industry you're in, there are some key strategies that might not be covered by general best practices. If you're looking for a renewable energy career, these tips can help you put your best foot forward during your job search.
This year, the U.S. solar industry hit a major milestone when it hit 1 million solar installations. The Solar Energy Industries Association predicts that this number could double in just two years. The growing demand for solar means that there is also a growing demand for a trained workforce. Basically, it's a good time to work in solar energy.
Joining the renewable energy workforce is about more than just starting your career. It's about becoming a part of a larger community of people who share your interest in creating cleaner energy sources. Whether you're a pursuing a career in wind energy, in solar technology, or another sector of the renewable energy industry, there are numerous organizations you can get involved with.
If you're training to become a solar energy technician, you probably already understand the power and impact of renewable energy. But the level of innovation happening in the solar industry goes far beyond residential and commercial solar panel installation. Creative minds are using the power of solar to reach new heights (literally, in one case), and make living environments better for people locally and abroad.
The cost of wind and solar power is lower than ever, prompting more companies to think about how they can invest in renewable energy to not only reduce their carbon footprint, but also save money. As sustainability becomes a key factor in business operations, it's no wonder that organizations are starting to create roles for sustainability specialists who can focus specifically on how companies can be more energy efficient and utilize cleaner power sources.
If you're interested in starting a career in renewable energy, it's important to keep up with what's happening in the industry. A great way to stay in the know is to use Twitter. From clean energy-focused publications, to trade associations, non-profits and research labs, many of the key players in renewable energy have an active presence on the popular microblogging site.
As the cost of solar energy continues to decrease, smaller margins will separate the industry winners and losers. Because of the price drop, companies are forced to quickly adapt to changes in the solar industry.
Auston Van Slyke, program director for the wind energy technology program at Ecotech Institute, recently wrote about the growth of jobs in renewable energy in Colorado and across the country in a byline for the Denver Business Journal.
Renewable energy technology is always changing — solar cells are being developed to convert more energy, wind turbines are being designed to operate more efficiently, and energy storage is growing leaps and bounds to make the most of the power collected by these renewable energy sources. But, there are also a lot of smaller innovations that go unnoticed. Here are three examples of how technology is being used in unexpected ways to improve renewable energy.
The wind energy industry is blowing up — wind was the largest source of new electric generating capacity that came online in 2015 according to data from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). That means there are now more openings for wind energy technicians. The job can be highly rewarding, but it takes a certain type of person to succeed in this challenging role.
Not only is the new energy economy on the rise, it’s here to stay. But to continue this progress toward using cleaner sources for power, the renewable energy industry needs strong leadership. More and more professionals are joining growing fields like wind energy and solar energy, but the leaders of the shift toward renewable energy possess certain traits that will help drive the industry forward.
Global Wind Day is a worldwide event that occurs annually on June 15. The event serves as a way to inform and educate people on wind energy, its power and the possibilities it offers in helping the evolution of our energy systems, benefitting the environment and boosting job growth.
If you're reading this blog, you probably already know that sustainability is an important issue. The advancements made in renewable energy and energy efficiency help us breathe easier (clean air benefits from wind power totaled $7.3 billion in public health savings in 2015, according to the American Wind Energy Association), bring power to remote areas that otherwise would not have access to electricity and preserve the planet's finite resources.
Renewable energy is a big deal in the United States. In fact, last year more than half of all new power capacity came from clean energy, with wind energy taking the top spot for new electric generating capacity in 2015.
When you're in need of an energy boost, it often can be found in something as simple as a well-curated playlist. And because energy is all around us, it's no surprise that the topic comes up so often in music. The next time you're in the mood for some tunes, consider cranking up the volume on these energy-themed songs perfect for anyone working in the energy field, from linemen and electrical engineering technicians to solar installers and wind turbine technicians.
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 bring awareness to environmental issues. Over four decades later, the holiday continues to drive our focus toward finding sustainable solutions for a healthier planet. That can mean a lot of different things for different people. From making individual choices to use less and recycle more, to advocating for policies that increase our use of renewable energy sources, building a sustainable future relies on everyone doing their part, from giant organizations, to local communities and individuals.
The wind energy industry is a great place to be right now. Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor listed wind turbine service technician as the top growing job across all occupations. Now, new data from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) shows exactly why the industry is seeing this impressive job growth.
The renewable energy industry is thriving — more solar and wind energy capacity is being installed each year, clean energy jobs continue to increase, and more people are getting on board with the shift to using sustainable resources. But many myths about renewable energy remain — as they say, haters gonna hate. We decided to set the record straight on the following five misconceptions about the industry.
Professionals working in the renewable energy industry are true everyday heroes. They help design, build and maintain technologies that produce cleaner, more efficient energy to fuel society's daily needs and help preserve the planet.
As the price of residential solar power becomes more affordable, more homeowners are making the decision to install rooftop solar PV panels. Some of the benefits are pretty clear — opting into solar power lessens a household’s carbon footprint and lowers electricity costs. But research has also shown that having solar panels installed can increase a home’s value in the housing market.
One of the most exciting things about the renewable energy industry is that there is no end to innovation — everyday there is something new. From new designs for wind turbines and updates to solar panels to trendy gadgets that help people power their electronic devices, scientists, designers and entrepreneurs are working constantly to improve the way we use and conserve energy.
February is Black History Month, a time where we honor and celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans. There have been many scientists, activists and politicians who've played an important part in promoting sustainability and eco-awareness throughout the years.
Just a few weeks into 2016, renewable energy is already a hot topic in the news. In President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address, he talked about important issues for the United States. Among these issues, the president focused on climate change and noted that America "should invest in the future."
More companies around the globe are incorporating sustainability practices into their operations and management for various reasons. A survey by McKinsey and Company showed results from companies integrating sustainability principles into their businesses by pursuing goals that go beyond maintaining a profile for Corporate Social Responsibility. McKinsey and Company is a global firm, comprising more than 9,000 consultants and nearly 2,000 research and information professionals assisting businesses around the world in their management and operational functions.
Most people don't think about how much energy they use in a day, or even how it gets to their home or office. With energy often taken for granted, it may seem easier than it appears to go "off the grid". So could you do it?
When Ecotech Institute instructor Laura Bruns isn't guiding her students through environmental policy lectures, she's brewing up the next great beer that Factotum Brewhouse will feature in its taproom. Laura and her brother, Chris, opened Factotum in February 2015.
Ecotech Institute is honored to serve so many military students – both veterans and active duty. Many students at Ecotech Institute have a military background because the hands-on skills gained while serving in the military often transition well into careers in renewable energy.
Harnessing the oldest source of energy in the world, wind power, is one of the more earth-friendly approaches to powering our busy world. The installation of wind turbines provides a way to control wind power without toxic waste, environmental cleanup, or pipelines. In addition, turbines require no water like other power plants. In fact, using energy produced by wind turbines is equal to saving about 35 billion gallons of water each year, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Ecotech Institute students seeking careers as electrical engineering technicians quickly learn that programmable logic controllers (PLCs), make the day-to-day work happen. These microprocessor-based devices control most industrial processes and used to be very large and expensive.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we're highlighting professionals making history in renewable energy. These individuals have made an incredible impact in the areas of atmospheric chemistry and domestic policy.
At Ecotech Institute every student completes a Capstone class where they are required to take what they've learned and apply it through a hands-on team project. Students typically choose a project related to energy efficiency or that can demonstrate alternative energy power. Recently, four students, Tiffany Garduno, Briane Montoya, Jesse Parry, Mark Iverson and Clifford Thompson, worked together to create a watering device that would operate based on soil saturation levels.
Event showcases fast-paced TEDx-style presentations on sustainable energy ideas
Denver, Colo. - May 12, 2015 - On Thursday, May 14, Yvette Alley, an Ecotech Institute graduate, will join ten other speakers at Denver's second annual switch event, highlighting sustainable energy ideas. This event gives energy change-makers a few minutes each to present their ideas for social change and industry innovation. Yvette will present on a topic she first wrote a paper on while attending Ecotech Institute, intelligent recycling and vehicle sustainability. She wants companies to start thinking of ways to build a truly smart car, one that uses recycled metals. One idea for this is using the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group near Phoenix, the site of many miles of retired military aircraft.
Event gathers education and industry leaders to discuss energy innovation and the economic implications for Colorado
Denver, Colo. — May 8, 2015 — On Wednesday, May 13, high school students across Colorado will have the opportunity to learn about the future of the energy industry and potential energy careers. It's all part of Colorado Energy Expo's new "Student Career Development Forum". Chris Gorrie, Ecotech Institute's school president will take part in the forum on "Identifying Pathways toward Energy Careers". Two sessions will be held to discuss this topic. Other energy and education leaders joining Chris will include:
Led by clean energy employer, Craig Mataczynski, and hosted live at Ecotech Institute or simulcast online
Denver, Colo. — March 16, 2015 — To learn what it takes to work and succeed in the clean energy field, Ecotech Institute is hosting a "Competitive Landscape of the Green Revolution" seminar. The event will be held at Ecotech Institute in Aurora, Colo. and will also be simulcast live, for those who cannot attend in person. The free forum, which will be led by Craig Mataczynski, the CEO of Gradient Resources, will offer students and guests, interested in a green energy career, an employer's perspective on what it takes to succeed.
Auston Van Slyke is the Program Director for Ecotech Institute's Wind Energy Technology program. We recently talked with him about the Wind Energy Technology program and how he sees the industry growing in the coming years.
Question: What are you most excited about right now regarding the Wind Energy Technology program?
Auston Van Slyke: We have partnered with Duke Energy to help place our students at power plants across the U.S. Duke Energy is a utility company that is a leader with smart grid technology. They own and operate 60GW of power plants, including solar and wind farms.
Aurora News Weekly recently highlighted the new 100% online Associate's Degree in Business Administration - Sustainability from Ecotech Institute. The online sustainability degree is the first of its kind in the nation.
Find out how an Ecotech Institute student used sand & rocks to bring clean drinking water to an orphanage in India. Charles Kim always wanted to work for a nonprofit and make a difference in the world. When asked why he ...
Celebrated software programmer and longtime Ecotech Institute staff member will guide students in their pursuit of an education in renewable energy
Denver, Colorado — Jan. 20, 2015 — Ecotech Institute, the first and only school in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy and sustainability, today announced Patrick Longstreth as the school's new academic dean. Longstreth is responsible for implementing the vision and strategic direction of Ecotech Institute; ensuring student, graduate and employer satisfaction; and making sure all staff at Ecotech Institute meet the high expectations of the school's students and Ecotech Institute's parent company, Education Corporation of America.
The Business Administration-Sustainability degree program allows career seekers to earn an associate's degree in sustainability online.
Denver, Colo., — January 15, 2014 —Ecotech Institute, the first and only school in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy and sustainability, today announced that it will offer its Business Administration-Sustainability degree program and several other college courses in sustainability online. This marks a first for students seeking an online degree in sustainability and a first for the Aurora, Colo.-based school. Online degrees focused on environmental sustainability are uncommon at the associate's degree level.
Ecotech Institute is Ranked 10th among Career and Technical Colleges in 2015
Denver, Colo. — Nov. 14, 2014 — The Military Times has once again named Ecotech Institute to its Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges list. The list honors top military friendly schools doing the most for veterans. Ecotech Institute, the first and only school in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy and sustainability, came in at 10th out of 36 institutions. The Military Times ranks the schools based on what veterans have told them are important, such as university culture, student support, academic policies, academic quality and financial aid.
This week, Ecotech Institute hosted a Solar Energy Salute to Veterans Day in conjunction with Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA).
Speakers included Chris Gorrie, president of Ecotech Institute; Rebecca Cantwell, Executive Director of COSEIA; Mark Mahoney, Director of Department of Defense for Regional Environmental and Energy Office-US Army; and John Bringenberg, a faculty member at Ecotech Institute.
As a longtime Ecotech Institute faculty member with years of in-the-field experience, Gorrie will propel Ecotech Institute to the next level in renewable energy education
Denver, Colo. — Nov. 4, 2014 — Ecotech Institute, the first and only college in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy and sustainability, today announced Chris Gorrie as its new president. Gorrie's responsibilities include guiding the strategic direction of the school; ensuring satisfaction of students, graduates and employers; and making sure all staff at Ecotech Institute meet the high expectations of students and its parent company, Education Corporation of America.
On September 17, Ecotech Institute staff and students celebrated Constitution Day, the day that commemorates the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Copies of the Constitution were placed prominently throughout the building so students could see this important document firsthand. Students also received commemorative bookmarks printed with the Preamble and enjoyed “Constitution cookies.”
Ecotech Institute has always prided itself on providing students with real world learning opportunities. Students considering degrees in the power utility, renewable energy or residential energy management industry can now find unprecedented access to the latest technology in the field with power equipment modules and training equipment.
The answer, of course, is just one. But almost 500 are learning how to change the world for the better at Ecotech Institute. One-hundred and thirteen of them were just added at our Fall Term start on October 2, 2013. Of these:
"I'm passionate about spreading knowledge to people about the industry, about renewables, because I don't think enough people understand what kind of situation we're in in the world and I want to have that knowledge so that I can share it with them.
"I didn't want to be one of a million. I wanted to have an opportunity where I can learn to use my hands and my knowledge and apply it to something where I can give back to my community and maybe the environment. And that's why I chose Ecotech.
"I was formerly in the military. My background was sales and I wanted to change industries and knew that the renewable energy industry was an upcoming industry. I saw Ecotech on a commercial and I said, 'this is something that I'd like to do.'
“We don’t go running away from our values. We go drifting away, and one day wake up in a place we never meant to be, drifting in a direction we would have never chosen.” ~John G. Blumberg, Good to the Core
When I was hired as Education Corporation of America (ECA)’s first Manager—Environmental Operations, I was told the story of how my position came to be. The man who hired me, Ron Maillette, was at that time ECA’s Chief Information Officer. Ron described to me how, as ECA’s first Ecotech plans were already well underway, he had an “epiphany moment” when he realized how important it would be for ECA to “walk the Ecotech talk”—not just at Ecotech, but at our corporate headquarters and at our other campus brands nationwide. Ron went to his boss, our Chief Executive Officer, and shared his epiphany. Our CEO agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history.
World Water Day is stacking up to be quite a celebration at Ecotech this year, including conservation demonstrations by Sonne Shields, first female winner of HGTV’s “All-American Handyman,” a children’s art contest, and much more.
Regardless of Party Affiliation, Elections Affect the Future of Cleantech
Denver, Colorado – November 1, 2012 – Ecotech Institute, the first and only college focused entirely on preparing America’s workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainability, has put together five things to consider this political season.
We're now taking applications for our new two-year Power Utility Technician degree program! This program, which will launch in October, will help fill a need in the power utility sector as a growing number of power utility technicians are retiring from the field and highly trained employees are in demand. Ecotech has responded to this need by creating a practical program focused on the ever-changing power utility industry.