Serving the High Plains

Mesalands receives $6,000 education grant

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 the college.

The college plans to buy 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 Mesalands Foundation was one of four area nonprofits to receive an Xcel foundation grant. A total of $20,977 in grants was awarded to boost science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and sustainability in Clovis, Portales and Tucumcari. Grant recipients also focus on increasing the number of students entering and completing post-secondary education in STEM disciplines and pursuing such 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.

Grap said the new initiative would include hiring more instructors, buying more equipment and developing new curriculum.

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