(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Grant Cusenbary likes to explore nature and go on adventures.
Cusenbary’s sense of adventure led him to Texas State Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology program. Nearing the completion of his second semester in pursuing an associate degree, he is ready to explore more of the program.
“I am naturally curious. I like to ask a lot of questions, and with our small classes, we get the answers from our instructors,” he said. “It is one thing to know what you have to know, but it is another thing to understand why something does what it is supposed to do.”
Cusenbary’s curiosity came at an early age.
“Working on a farm, I did not know how some of the things worked on our tractors. But I wanted to learn more,” he said.
The same curiosity led Cusenbary to TSTC. He knew people in his hometown of Graham who had wind turbines on their property. He asked the farmers different questions and soon realized he could have a career in wind energy.
“I asked a lot of questions and did a lot of research. TSTC is known for its wind program, and I knew it would be the best place to receive an education,” he said.
Instructor Billie Jones said Cusenbary is very attentive, a positive trait for future wind turbine technicians.
“He does ask a lot of questions, and that is something I like in students,” she said. “He has worked hard in all of his classes.”
With the questions, Cusenbary notices a trend in class.
“It opens a lot of opportunities for us to have in-depth conversations with our instructors,” he said. “I enjoy having the smaller classes because we can have great discussions with the best instructors.”
Cusenbary said he chose TSTC for another reason.
“Almost all of the graduates are guaranteed to be working when they finish. That means the program has a great reputation, and I wanted to be part of that tradition,” he said.
Jobs in the wind energy sector are some of the fastest-growing in Texas. According to https://www.onetonline.org, the need for wind service turbine technicians in Texas will increase 83 percent over the next decade. That trend is higher than the national forecast of 61 percent by 2029.
Even with his second semester coming to an end, Cusenbary is ready for what comes next.
“I know what I am learning now will prepare me for the day when things become more hands-on. I can then apply all of the knowledge I have gained into doing it with my hands,” he said.
Like most students in the program, Cusenbary said it will be gratifying when he makes his first turbine climb.
“I used to work on a ropes course, so I am used to climbing high and having to wear safety equipment,” he said. “But to be able to do it with my classmates and make the climb in the turbine, that is one adventure I cannot wait to have.”
Cusenbary said his adventures will continue after he completes the program, and he is looking forward to traveling while working in his chosen career.
“Wind energy is going to offer me an adventure of a lifetime. I am looking forward to seeing the country and taking hikes and seeing the views from the top of the turbine,” he said. “I cannot believe I will be able to explore our country while making money. TSTC is offering me a great opportunity.”
For more information, visit tstc.edu.