WindTV is a new showcase of video profiles of Americans whose lives have been positively impacted by the wind energy industry. The site, located at www.awea.org/windtv, features a different video profile each week. This week, the series features Chris Williams, who proudly works with his hands in helping build wind towers at Katana Summit, LLC’s plant in Ephrata, Wash. (At www.awea.org/windtv, see "Wind Power brings jobs to eastern Washington.")
"We always get things sent here from other countries," observes Williams, speaking over the din of machinery in the Katana Summit plant. "It’s nice to be here in America, doing what we used to do—build stuff from scratch, and build amazing things that actually help our economy instead of buy them from somewhere else. That’s nice."
Wind energy is creating one of the fastest-growing U.S. manufacturing sectors. Over the last six years, U.S. domestic production of wind turbines components has grown 12-fold to more than 400 facilities in 43 states, shifting manufacturing jobs from overseas back to the U.S. This includes at least nine facilities and 1,000 – 2,000 jobs in Washington State.
"People like Chris Williams exemplify how wind power is creating new manufacturing jobs right here in America," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. "We’re thrilled to have Chris share his work experience on WindTV because that’s what American Wind Power is all about. Thanks to the federal Production Tax Credit, a new manufacturing base is taking root—but the PTC is expiring soon. Congress must extend this credit so that the industry can keep growing, building, and creating jobs for people like Chris."
Representatives Dave Reichert (R, WA-08) and Earl Blumenauer (D, OR-03) recently introduced legislation (H.R. 3307, the "American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act") that seeks to grant a four-year extension to the existing Production Tax Credit for wind energy.
No one, of course, can speak more eloquently about wind power than the men and women who work on the factory floors in support of the industry, building each of the 8,000 components that go into a wind turbine.
Williams says there’s no other place he’d rather work. Working in the wind industry, Williams relishes the opportunity to run machinery and "cut steel all day. I’d rather have that job than any job I’ve ever heard of."
To learn more about the story of wind power and Chris Williams’s experience at Katana Summit, go to WindTV.