WindStart Program Lead – Introducing Jeremy McKelvain

windstart program lead jeremy mckelvain

WindStart news

The WindStart program is gathering pace

WindStart has been designed to help people get into wind. As the program grows and develops we wanted to take an opportunity to introduce the driving force behind WindStart, Jeremy McKelvain. Jeremy has been working tirelessly to secure funding, getting on the road to meet the next generation of potential wind technicians and building out the program. 

WindStart is all about delivering on the industry needs, but more accurately, ambitions for growth over the coming years. To get to where we all want to be, we need to grow the workforce and that’s something STL USA is well positioned to do through our training, access to funding for ‘new to the sector’ people and our links to employers across the industry.

It may seem like a big ambition but STL USA is all about solutions. We’ve been to way too many conferences where, time and again, key players talk to us about the challenges they are facing in recruitment. STL USA as a team relish the opportunity to play a key role in providing a solution to this and Jeremy is the man tasked with making that happen!

With this in mind, we thought it was a great opportunity to shine a light on what makes Jeremy tick. So we’ve asked him a few questions to give you some insight into his background and his thoughts on WindStart.

Tell us about your background?

“I retired as a Master Sergeant after 20 years of service in the US Air Force, where I gained extensive experience in technical and leadership roles. Post-military, I was drawn to the renewable energy sector due to its growth potential and the opportunity to apply my skills in a meaningful way. With WindStart, I’ve been focusing on technical training and certification for new wind technicians.”

You served for several years; what attracted you to the wind industry?

“What attracted me to the wind industry was the dynamic nature of the work and the opportunity to continue serving in a capacity that benefits society. The industry’s focus on sustainability and innovation aligns well with my personal values and my professional skills in managing complex technical operations and training programs.”

You get to meet lots of people keen on wind; what do you enjoy most?

“I most enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping to shape the careers of aspiring wind technicians. It’s rewarding to see new technicians grow and succeed. The enthusiasm and commitment they bring are inspiring, and it reminds me of the camaraderie and dedication I valued in the Air Force.”

Any career fairs coming up where people can meet you?

“Yes, WindStart will be participating in several career fairs across the nation in the coming months. These events are great opportunities for those interested in entering the wind industry to learn more about our training programs and career opportunities.”

What do you see as the future of WindStart?

“The future of WindStart is incredibly promising. As the wind sector continues to expand, the demand for skilled technicians will only grow. We aim to be at the forefront of training excellence, helping to meet the industry’s needs with well-prepared, certified technicians. I believe WindStart will play a crucial role in supporting the renewable energy goals of the nation through quality education and training.”

Interested in WindStart? 

Click the link to learn more 

New Courses – GWO IQT and IQTX



Launching May 2024 new GWO IQT and IQTX training courses for new and existing GWO trainers

What is GWO IQT

The aim of the Instructor Qualification Training Module (IQT) is to enable the participant to instruct and train following adult learning principles for an adult target audience.. These courses are an extra layer of instructor training beyond the 4-step POCD process.

IQT aims to address some of the quality issues that have occurred during GWO training courses by providing additional instruction around adult learning specific to the delivery of GWO courses.

In October of last year, STL USA’s lead instructor Brandon McKelvain was invited to join one of GWO’s train-the-trainer sessions to qualify to be able to train other instructors in the IQT standard.

Coupled to the recent audit STL USA passed we are now able to deliver both versions of the IQT standard for new and experienced instructors.


Instructor qualification training module

The aim of the Instructor Qualification Training Module (IQT) is to enable the participant to instruct and train in accordance with adult learning principles for an adult target audience.

After having successfully completed this Instructor Qualification Training Module, the participants will have the ability to:

1) Take responsibility of planning and conducting instructor led training ensuring participants’ safety throughout (Ability, intermediate level)

2) Choose appropriate learning activities and assessment tools based on the characteristics of an adult target audience and adult learning principles in their didactical considerations and facilitation of learning activities (Knowledge, advanced level)

3) Apply appropriate teaching methods, learning activity structures and assessment tools based on the characteristics of an adult target audience and adult learning principles (Skills, intermediate level)

4) Assess training participants’ learning progression and performance against specific training aims and learning objectives (Knowledge, advanced level)

5) Take initiative and take responsibility to conduct instructor self-evaluation activities

 Course duration: 9 days

Location: Abilene , TX


Instructor Qualification Crossover Module

The aim of the Instructor Qualification Crossover Module (IQTX) is to update experienced GWO instructors on their knowledge of the GWO Taxonomy Framework and adult learning principles (aligned with the IQ Standard); and to support their ability to apply these in their training delivery.

After having successfully completed this IQTX Module, the participants will have the ability to apply adult learning principles in their GWO training delivery.

Course duration: 3 days

Location: Abilene , TX

How to book

Click the button below and select GWO IQT on the enquiry form to contact a member of the team to assist you with booking this course.

Want to book? 

Click the link to speak to the STL USA team

Electrical Safety – NFPA 70E for Wind Techs

NFPA 70E for wind techs

NFPA 70E for wind techs

NFPA 70E for wind techs is becoming a must have. Many OEM now require this from their contractors and owner operators are increasingly adopting NFPA 70E courses as part of their training programs.

With this in mind here’s a quick overview of the course STL USA offers. 

Low and High Voltage Electrical Safety Training

The combined Low & High Voltage Electrical safety course to standard NFPA 70E from STL USA is a two-day face-to-face training course suitable for wind technicians across the spectrum. Specifically designed to equip wind technicians with electrical safety knowledge, best work practices in electrical safety, and how to apply them in real-world situations.

Course modules

The combined low and high-voltage course takes place over two training days.

Low Voltage

This course provides a thorough knowledge of the recommended safe behaviors for those who work around electrical hazards. Attendees gain an understanding of the latest guidelines and regulations from NFPA 70E and OSHA. Electrical workers and safety professionals learn key practical information: best work practices in electrical safety and how to apply them in real-world situations.

High Voltage

The second half of this course addresses the potential electrical hazards and safety practices specific to industrial high-voltage systems. Working on or around these types of systems requires additional knowledge and training on the relevant hazards and safety measures. Attendees in this class focus on the safety procedures, line tools, and mobile equipment considerations related to qualified high-voltage tasks. As part of the course, students work in small groups to apply what they have learned to preparing and presenting a pre-work briefing of a practical situation.

References: OSHA Regulations (as applicable), Current NFPA 70E Standard


Learn More & Book 

Click the link to get in touch 

Train GWO onsite

Save time and money, train GWO onsite with STL USA

STL USA have expanded our onsite GWO training for 2023 and as we look ahead we are planning the states we will visit in 2024 we thought it was a great opportunity to detail all the aspects of onsite training in this blog. 

When you train GWO onsite with STL USA you can rest assured that you receive exactly the same course content and exercises you would in a training environment. To this end, and to improve onsite teaching, STL USA employs a mobile training unit that is used for GWO Basic Safety Training – Working at Height and GWO Advanced Rescue Training modules. 

Alongside this we encourage the use of actual turbines, which allows us to practice rescue exercises in the environment where technicians actually work. As an added bonus we work with the technicians to help with rescue plans and have worked with local first responders to familiarise them with the wind turbine and potential rescue situations.

How does onsite GWO training work?

Onsite training is very straightforward. STL USA arrive onsite with our mobile training unit, conduct a risk assessment and then commence training. If the onsite team want to use a turbine for certain exercises then this needs to be shut down for use, classroom portions of training are usually conducted in a meeting or conference room, and that’s about it.

Why train GWO onsite?

The obvious benefits of onsite training are the cost and time savings for travel and lodging usually associated with a trip to the training center. Beyond that logistically onsite training can be much easier for sites to plan around, with technicians able to jump off training if absolutely necessary to deal with issues at the site. This is of course impossible if they’re 1,000 miles away at training.

The final benefit, and in our opinion the most important from a skills development perspective is the ability to train in the live environment. No matter how good a training center may be it will never be as good as the actual wind turbines that technicians work on. Through our blended onsite approach technicians get to learn in the mobile training environment and then practice exercises in a turbine. Simply put this ensures they have the skills and knowledge to deal with problem scenarios on the equipment they use in the real world.

GWO onsite courses available

STL USA trains a range of GWO and non-GWO courses onsite, including GWO Basic Safety Training and GWO Advanced Rescue Training as well as NFPA 70E electrical safety training.

Which states are covered

STL USA trains GWO onsite across the USA focussing on the main wind States. Our annual program focuses on regions through particular times of the year. For example, North Eastern and Northern states are covered from April to October (weather permitting ) with a focus on the warmer States from October to March. The map below gives an indication of areas, if you can’t see yours just give us a call.

The booking process

Booking is simple, click the link below to speak with a member of the team. Onsite training requires 2-3 weeks notice.

Future course availability

Onsite training for the remainder of 2023 is now focused on the Southern and warmer States. The program for 2024 will include the Northeast – New York State, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio then moving to the Northern States – Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Heading over to the West and then circling back down to Texas. Each region will have roughly a 2-month window.

Onsite team lead

Onsite GWo training is led by Jerry Rodriguez. Jerry has years of GWO teaching experience and specialises in basic and advanced rescue training. Jerry’s background in the fire service makes him perfectly suited to working with all types of different environments and he consistently receives 5 star feedback for his training course delivery 

Book onsite GWO training

click the link and contact a member of the STL USA team for booking and information

WindStart program

A complete program to get you into wind energy

STL has created the WindStart program to help people get into wind. Why? Because, wind energy is one of the fastest-growing industries in the USA, with above-average salaries and a huge demand for new workers. This post explores why you should consider a career in wind and why WindStart is the perfect place to start.

A growing market

Significant growth is forecast in the US wind energy market over the next 5 years. It’s estimated the market will grow by 50% over this time period. Fuelled by Government incentives and reduced costs wind energy is the fastest-growing jobs market in the USA. 

Wind energy market growth
The training program

WindStart includes two-course options. The first covers all the required industry qualifications; GWO Basic Safety, GWO Basic Technical, GWO Advanced Rescue plus electrical safety and access to windtech careers. The second option includes an additional week of technical training covering all major aspects of a wind turbine.


Through our long-standing partnership with Texas State Technical College, up to 60% of course fees can be covered by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. 

As Wind Turbine Service Technician is an in-demand career option, these courses are eligible for WIOA funding which provides up to $4,500 for an individual to train. 

Funding requirements: Not already working in sector, or unemployed.

On-the-job training, linking to business

As part of the WindStart program STL USA is working with our customer base to create 2-3 week paid job placements for students who successfully pass through the WindStart training. This is a great stepping stone to employment and is a perfect opportunity to experience life in the field.

Recruitment, jobs

STL USA has also set up a jobs site specifically for wind technicians and employers in the wind industry. All students who pass through WindStart have the opportunity to create a free resume which is shared with over 300 employers in the wind sector.

How to access WindStart?

Booking onto courses is really simple, just click the link below and a member of the STL USA team will help you book onto a course, secure funding and give you all the information you need to start your journey in wind.

Find out more about WindStart

Click the link and fill in the form for more information.

Is wind energy a good career choice?

10 reasons why wind energy is a sound career choice

As the world continues to grapple with the growing climate crisis and the urgent need to transition to renewable sources of energy, the wind energy sector has emerged as a beacon of hope. A career in wind energy is not just a job; it’s a commitment to a sustainable future. The question that often arises is, “Is wind energy a good career choice, and how do I get into wind?” The resounding answer to this question is a definitive yes, and in this article, we’ll explore why.


Job Growth and Stability:

The wind energy sector has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, with no signs of slowing down. As governments and businesses worldwide commit to renewable energy targets, the demand for wind energy professionals continues to rise. This industry offers job stability and promising career prospects, making it a sound choice for those seeking long-term employment.

Technological Advancements:

Wind energy is not static; it’s a field of constant innovation and technological advancements. This means there are ample opportunities for professionals to learn and grow within the industry. Whether you’re interested in turbine design, maintenance, or grid integration, you’ll find a dynamic and evolving landscape in wind energy.

Global Opportunities:

Wind energy is a global industry, and professionals in this field often have the chance to work on international projects. This provides a unique opportunity to gain experience in diverse settings and cultures while contributing to a worldwide effort to transition to clean energy.

Competitive Salaries:

Wind energy careers offer competitive salaries that are often on par with or even surpassing those in traditional energy sectors. With the increasing demand for skilled professionals, companies are willing to invest in attracting and retaining top talent.

Job Satisfaction:

Many people find great satisfaction in working in an industry that aligns with their values. Knowing that your daily work directly contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change can be deeply rewarding.

Diverse Career Pathways:

Wind energy is a multifaceted field with diverse career pathways. Whether you’re interested in engineering, project management, research and development, or policy advocacy, there’s a role for you in the wind energy sector.

Resilience to Economic Downturns:

Wind energy has shown resilience to economic downturns and market fluctuations. This is due, in part, to its long-term contracts and the essential nature of energy production. As such, careers in wind energy are often insulated from some of the economic uncertainties that affect other industries.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact:

One of the most compelling reasons to consider a career in wind energy is the profound environmental impact it offers. Wind energy is clean and green, producing zero emissions and significantly reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. By working in this industry, you become part of the solution to combat climate change, contributing to a healthier planet for future generations.

Positive Work Environment:

The wind energy sector is known for its collaborative and positive work environment. Teams often share a strong sense of purpose and camaraderie, making it an enjoyable place to work.

Personal Fulfillment:

Finally, a career in wind energy allows you to make a meaningful contribution to society. You’re not just working for a paycheck; you’re helping to create a sustainable and greener future for all.

In conclusion, choosing a career in wind energy is not just a smart decision; it’s a choice that aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and secure a sustainable future. The answer to the question “Is wind energy a good career choice?” is a resounding “yes.” It offers job stability, competitive salaries, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment. So, if you’re passionate about renewable energy and want a career that matters, consider joining the wind energy sector—it’s a path towards a brighter and cleaner future.


How can STL USA help?

STL USA has created a program called WindStart, specifically designed to help people transition into the wind industry. WindStart includes a range of vital industry qualifications and a great technical grounding. WindStart has been designed to bridge the gap between other industries and wind energy. Click the link below to find out more.

Find out more about WindStart

Click the link and fill in the form for more information.

STL USA partnering with colleges

STL USA partnering with colleges

STL USA partnering with colleges to implement GWO training

Watch our latest video explaining how we can help colleges implement GWO and why it’s important.


STL USA partnering with colleges has been a constant theme over the last 10 years of operations in the USA. On the back of this STL USA’s parent company has over 20 years of experience working with education providers, military leavers organizations, and other workforce organizations alongside commercial wind technician training. To partner with STL USA could not be more simple.

STL USA has made it a key part of its mission to play a central role in the workforce expansion required to meet the demands of the fast-growing renewable energy sector and working with education is central to this long-term strategy.

What is GWO?

The Global Wind Organization (GWO) was created to implement a set of standards across the industry, initially to improve safety and later to provide a framework for required skills. The GWO was created by its members who include GE, Vestas, Siemens, and a host of large national and multinational businesses. Suffice it to say it’s formed of a who’s who in the wind.

The standards created by GWO are then adapted into training courses which are the default for the wind industry. It’s not an exageration to say it’s very hard to even set foot on a wind farm with GWO certificates.

Why is it important for students?

There are two reasons, employability and salaries. Having GWO makes a prospective employee more attractive to employers and also translates to higher salaries. Put simply it gives new employees a clear advantage.

Other advantages

Once a facility is audited and approved anyone can train there. This opens up commercial opportunities for colleges to train local business customers.


 Programs with education follow a simple 4-step process that allows for a fast, low-cost roll-out.. These stages include:


  • QMS set up for partner site
  • Compliance requirements


  • Audit existing facilities for GWO compliance
  • Gap analysis
  • Roadmap to Compliance
  • WEEK 1-2 Course attendance and observation
  • WEEK 3 Supported delivery
  • WEEK 4 Observed course delivery
  • Pre-Audit run through
  • Independent GWO audit

STL USA has refined this process to ensure a fast, low-cost delivery that results in GWO accreditation within 6-8 weeks. Additionally, once audited the college can then take advantage of commercial training opportunities with local businesses.

Working with TSTC

The Texas State Technical College (TSTC) wind program is rightly considered one of the premier courses in the USA. The partnership between STL USA and TSTC dates back over 6 years. Initially developed to service local wind technicians, the program was then extended to students. Incorporating GWO into student studies ensures that graduates are in the best possible position to enter the job market. 

“Working with STL USA has allowed us to quickly integrate industry requirements into our undergraduate programs. Simply put this makes our graduates more employable. STL USA takes care of everything ensuring our faculty can get on with teaching. It’s been a pleasure working together.”

TSTC Wind program lead

As we move forward with renewables across the USA new legislation will fuel the sector’s growth. It’s anticipated that the clean energy sector will double in the next 10 years requiring an additional 250,000 people to fill roles. With this in mind, it’s essential that the commercial and education sectors come together to ensure the next generation of wind professionals are able to meet the demands of this fast-moving industry.

If you lead a wind program talk to us now about how STL USA can support the role out of a GWO program for your college.


Talk to our team

Get in touch and talk to a team member now about GWO implementation

Wind Escape Features

wind escape features

Serious features for serious situations

The Wind Escape Features are specifically designed with technician safety in mind. But, more than that they are designed for high-pressure, stressful situations. The Wind Escape personal rescue and Passto pulley system for rescues represent the future of personal rescue. Small light, super intuitive devices with a host of features that prioritise safety. This is a direct reaction to the older, heavier, more complicated devices we have seen throughout the industry and a need to do better. Something that has been demanded by wind technicians for the last few years.

Compact and light

The Wind Escape personal rescue has been designed with technician comfort to the fore. Its super light design makes it the go-to personal rescue device.

Anti-jamming and anti-panic

Even in the event of a technician’s panic situation the device operates either a 2 or 1-handed. Anti-jamming means no one is left dangling.

No overheating

The Technora rope ensures no overheating for the entire length of a descent.

No weight set-up required

Ensuring the device is as simple as possible no set-up is required for the user’s weight. This is essential as who has time to stop and start calculating in a rescue or escape situation.

Simple slack feed and rescue setup

Unlike some devices currently on the market a key Wind Escape feature is its ability to feed through slack. This is vital in rescue situations in combination with the Passto pulley system, making rescue efficient and fast.

Technical Features

Minimum use temperature of -30°C.
– It incorporates a 5mm diameter Technora rope resistant to high temperature and tears.
– Easy maintenance thanks to its vacuum packaging that simplifies the revision.
– Customisable rope length of up to 200m.
– CE EN 341:2011/2D: working load 40 – 120kg.
– ANSI Z359.4-2013: working load 60 – 141kg.
– 200m version’s weight: 4.4kg.

Learn more 

Get in touch with a member of our knowledgeable team and find out how you can test and buy the Wind Escape

GWO Training in Abilene

GWO Training in Abilene

GWO Training in Abilene from STL USA

GWO Training in Abilene includes a complete range of courses delivered by highly experienced trainers

GWO Training in Abilene has been delivered by STL USA for a number of years. The STL USA headquarters includes both indoor and outdoor training facilities designed to simulate a turbine environment where appropriate.

But that’s probably only half the story, STL USA has been delivering GWO training in Texas from multiple locations and has been instrumental in helping develop sites for customers over the years.

In recent years, the global shift towards renewable energy sources has led to a rapid expansion of the wind energy sector. As wind farms continue to dot the landscapes, ensuring the safety of the workforce that maintains and operates these structures becomes paramount. One crucial aspect of this effort is the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) training, which plays a pivotal role in enhancing safety and skills within the wind energy industry. Abilene, Texas, emerges as a significant hub for GWO training, offering specialized programs that equip workers with the expertise to tackle the unique challenges posed by wind energy installations.

GWO training programs are designed to address the specific needs of the wind energy sector. These programs cover a wide range of topics, including working at heights, manual handling, fire awareness, first aid, and more. As wind turbines continue to grow taller and more complex, the risks associated with maintaining and servicing them also increase. GWO training ensures that workers are well-versed in the latest safety protocols, operational techniques, and emergency procedures. This training not only safeguards the workforce but also contributes to the efficiency and reliability of wind energy operations.

Abilene, Texas, with its strategic location and strong commitment to renewable energy, has emerged as a prominent center for GWO training. The city’s wind energy landscape, characterized by expansive wind farms, makes it an ideal location for practical training scenarios. The local training centers in Abilene provide state-of-the-art facilities that simulate real-life conditions, enabling trainees to develop hands-on skills in a controlled environment. This practical approach to training instills confidence in workers, ensuring they are well-prepared to handle the challenges posed by their jobs.

Moreover, GWO training in Abilene goes beyond technical skills. It emphasizes the importance of teamwork, communication, and leadership within the wind energy sector. Workers are trained to collaborate effectively, which is crucial for the safe and efficient operation of wind farms. This holistic approach to training not only improves the safety record but also contributes to a positive work culture within the industry.

As the wind energy sector continues to grow, the demand for skilled and certified workers also increases. GWO training in Abilene opens up opportunities for individuals seeking a career in the renewable energy industry. The training programs are designed to cater to both newcomers and experienced professionals, ensuring that everyone receives the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in their roles. This not only supports workforce development but also contributes to the economic growth of the region.

GWO training in Abilene, Texas, stands as a testament to the wind energy industry’s commitment to safety, innovation, and sustainability. As the world moves towards a greener future, the role of wind energy becomes more significant, and so does the need for a skilled workforce that can operate and maintain wind turbines safely and effectively. Abilene’s focus on GWO training aligns perfectly with these goals, providing a platform for individuals to acquire the expertise needed to thrive in the dynamic and vital field of wind energy. Through comprehensive training programs, practical experience, and a dedication to excellence, STL USA’s Abilene GWO training center contributes to a safer, more efficient, and more promising renewable energy landscape.



GWO Training center Abilene, Texas

One of the highest towers in use in the USA for GWO training.


Comprehensive training all in one place

The set-up of STL USA’s GWO training in Abilene is designed so that wind techs can train everything under one roof. This helps reduce customer overheads for training and cuts down on the time required to get technicians the certs they need.

Get help with a training course

Speak to a member of STL USA’s knowledgable team for more info

Personal Rescue device for Wind technicians

Wind Escape personal rescue

No fuss personal rescue for high pressure scenarios

Few scenarios are more stressful and pressurized than having to evacuate from a wind turbine due to injury or the risk of injury. Wind technicians receive a huge amount of training and have a number of devices at their disposal to ensure they can get out when the pressure is on and there is a real risk to life and limb.

There tend to be 2 kinds of devices favored by technician teams, single-use, personal rescue devices, and rescue systems. We’re big fans of both, but especially equipment that takes into account the situations when they are likely to be used.

Complicated is not your friend

The Wind Escape personal rescue has been designed as a no-fuss, easy-to-use rescue device with an anti-panic function. Why? because complicated is not your friend in a real rescue or evacuation scenario. The key is the high-pressure scenario, which affects our ability to perform tasks we are otherwise skilled at. Think of a kicker missing a high-pressure kick in a football game. In practice, they likely hit almost all their kicks so why miss something they should be able to do with ease – pressure? 

This is no different from a high-pressure situation in a wind turbine. Skills we thought we had down can sometimes disappear, we panic and that’s why we believe the Wind Escape has the edge put simply it’s designed with this in mind.

Key features 

Minimum use temperature of -30°C.
– It incorporates a 5mm diameter Technora rope resistant to high temperature and tears.
– Easy maintenance thanks to its vacuum packaging that simplifies the revision.
– Customisable rope length of up to 200m.
– CE EN 341:2011/2D: working load 40 – 120kg.
– ANSI Z359.4-2013: working load 60 – 141kg.
– 200m version’s weight: 4.4kg.

Learn more 

Get in touch with a member of our knowledgeable team and find out how you can get the best training and save money along the way.