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CNA new wind energy programs draw interest

The College of the North Atlantic campus in Corner Brook, NL. – Courtesy of the College of the North Atlantic

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

WEST COAST — With wind developers continuing to show significant interest on the West coast of the province, the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) has announced the addition of two new programs coming in Fall 2023 that will provide skills specific to that. The Wind Turbine Technician and Hydrogen Technician programs are scheduled to begin in Sept. 2023. Michelle Barry, Communications Manager with CNA, said the college is happy to support the potential new industry in the province. “This is an exciting time in our history, as CNA focuses on sustainability and green energy throughout the college network. We are on a clear path to becoming more innovative and responsible global citizens in the communities where we work and live, as well as in our leading-edge, post-secondary opportunities,” said Barry. “There has been a lot of work completed on these and other new program offerings to date – all centred around supporting the province’s industry sectors and providing graduates with a solid foothold in future employment. These new programs will be part of our new School of Sustainable Development, which is currently being established.” The programs will be offered at separate campuses. “Wind Turbine Technician is slated for Bay St. George campus and Hydrogen Technician will be delivered at Corner Brook campus, which is the site of a state-of-the-art technical engineering lab. This facility has been upgraded and renovated, with a major investment in 2018. These are new programs, and as with any new offering, the location is determined by a number of factors, such as cost and the existing infrastructure of the campuses to name a couple of examples.” Whether or not other campuses, such as Port aux Basques, will eventually also be able offer these programs has yet to be determined. “The Hydrogen Technician program will be housed with the other programs currently being delivered in that lab (in Corner Brook). We examine our program offerings on a continual basis and any expansion of them is decided once the analysis of them is completed.” CNA has been working in consultation with experts in the field in order to pro-actively develop the programs, as they see the potential for industry growth across Canada. Numerous consultations were held with DOB Academy from the Netherlands and World Energy GH2, which is developing the Project Nujio’qonik GH2 on the Port au Port peninsula. “World Energy GH2 is only one of many proponents who are interested in establishing wind energy projects throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. CNA has been developing these programs pro-actively in consultation with global energy leaders and experts, with World Energy GH2 being among them. This is groundbreaking territory for us and the province, and we need to ensure the program offerings are relevant for the needs of all stakeholders.” Even though consultations were held with World Energy GH2, and their input has helped to shape the programs that will be offered, there has been no monetary support from the corporation. “The college is always open to exploring scholarship opportunities throughout our communities, but nothing from this organization to date,” said Barry. The anticipated class sizes for the new programs are 16 spaces and interest has already been shown from prospective students since the official announcement. “Applications for many of these programs are not yet open, but expressed interest has been robust,” said Barry. “We have received an extremely healthy response from prospective students for each of the programs. Interested students can contact the Registrar’s Office to receive notification for when applications are open.” The length of each program is one year and all graduates will receive a Certificate credential. “The pre-requisites for these programs will be released once the programs are finalized and they are open to applications,” said Barry. ”The college is entering a very exciting time in its history. These programs are new territory for CNA, as we explore opportunities for sustainable and green energy within our own college network and externally as a provider of innovative and leading edge post-secondary training that will create more responsible global citizens throughout this province. The programs are not only groundbreaking in their content, but they are also responsive to what we anticipate is a robust demand for green energy-related labour demands and skillsets.” CNA is offering many new classes for the 2022-2023 academic year aside from Wind Turbine Technician and Hydrogen Technician, including Heating Systems Technician, Mental Health and Addictions, Mining Engineering Technician, and Veterinary Technician. Drone technology is another development that is being offered at CNA. “Drone technology is part of CNA’s applied research area in order to explore the technological needs of sectors requiring such services. Drone technology is also a component of our Journalism program and has been for some time.” All new programs can be viewed by going to, and clicking on the banner near the top of the page that says ‘Check out CNA’s new 2023 programs here.’

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