Woodward Governor, which designs, manufactures and services energy controls for engines, aircraft and industrial turbines and electrical power system equipment, plans to add a new production line in Northern Colorado expanding its wind turbine inverter business. The move comes just weeks after Vestas Wind Energy opened its first North American turbine blade plant in nearby Windsor, CO.
"The wind business has just taken off here," CEO Tom Gendron said. The company made a commitment to its customers to expand its U.S. production, a move Gendron called critical to customers' "future sales success."
Woodward also announced a new Workforce Initiative that connects educators, primary employers and the work force. Front Range Community College will begin offering a two-year degree next fall to train technicians suited for the green-collar industry, including jobs at Woodward.
The collaboration will work to retrain unemployed or underemployed residents for careers in the clean-energy sector. According to a 2007 survey, the region has more than 30,000 underemployed workers, many of whom leave the region to work every day.
Woodward Governor’s sales increased 20 percent during the first quarter of 2008, which ended Dec. 31, and it is forecasting an 8 percent to 10 percent increase in sales this year, including $100 million in wind energy sales.