TUCUMCARI, NM – The Mesalands Community College Foundation recently received a $6,000 education grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation, to enhance the Integrated Renewable Energy Program at Mesalands Community College. The College plans to purchase a mobile training unit that will provide hands-on training to students in rural areas, with the goal of preparing students for a career in wind energy and other renewable energy fields.
“The success of our communities is directly tied to our efforts to provide educational opportunities for our young people, create jobs, improve quality of life and in making sure no one is left behind in our progress,” said David Essex, Xcel Energy Manager for Community and Economic Development in Clovis. “Our goal is to support the nonprofits that do so much to build up our communities.”
The Mesalands Foundation was one of four area nonprofits to receive an Xcel Energy Foundation grant. A total of $20,977 in grant funding was awarded to boost science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and sustainability in Clovis, Portales, and Tucumcari. Education grant recipients also focus on increasing the number of students entering and completing post-secondary education in STEM disciplines and pursuing STEM careers.
“Mesalands is fortunate to have a 1.5 megawatt wind turbine on campus. This is a great hands-on training tool for wind energy students. However, with any technology today, we need to keep moving forward in order to progress with today’s demands,” said Diane Grap, Foundation Coordinator and Grants Specialist at Mesalands. “The Mesalands Foundation is extremely grateful for Xcel Energy’s support of this new and exciting venture.”
Grap said this new initiative would also include hiring more instructors, purchasing additional equipment, and developing new curriculum.