Paul Turner is not afraid of heights. It’s a good thing because his utility sector career launched him from operating and maintaining natural gas lines to where he spends a lot of time today, up 300 feet into the air working on wind turbines as a journeyman renewable specialist. He and three colleagues completed a 30-month, Department of Labor-certified apprenticeship program through the UWUA’s Power for America Training Trust (P4A) that allows them to operate and maintain wind, solar and battery storage systems. In February, they had the distinction of becoming the P4A’s first graduating class of renewable energy specialists.
“It’s a trade I might not otherwise have learned,” said Turner. “It’s a step in the right direction and coincides with the future of energy and renewable energy. It seems the way the future is going. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Turner joined Consumers Energy and Local 104 in 2016. In 2019, he saw a job posting for a renewables position and applied. He successfully passed a test requiring him to climb a 300-foot ladder in 10 minutes and was accepted into the program. Turner is a veteran and was deployed overseas as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Now he’s based out of the Crosswinds Energy Park in Unionville, MI.