Climbing to the top: Future sunny for wind turbine technicians

Justin Copeland fought fires for a living, patched the injured as an emergency medical technician and refueled everything from airliners to bush planes in Alaska.

Now he wants to settle down.

So he plans to clamber up tall, tall ladders several times a day to earn a paycheck turning wrenches at an altitude that could make an acrobat dizzy.

In times when it seems no jobs are out there, maybe the solution is to look up there. Copeland is among a corps of wind technicians in training — ambitious and daring men and women filling an exploding demand for workers who can tend to giant windmills — in a rare field that needs more workers.

“I support clean renewable energy,” said the 37-year-old student at Cloud County Community College. “But if there’s a job in it, that’s the big thing.”

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