Iowa wind technician to sit in first lady’s box for State of the Union


Obama visits Iowa in 2003. Photo by TushyD, Flickr.
Obama visits Iowa in 2003. Photo by TushyD, Flickr.

Kirkwood Community College graduate Lee Maxwell will attend tonight’s State of the Union address beside first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.

Maxwell is a graduate of Kirkwood’s wind energy technician program.

The White House released the following statement:

“In 2012, Lee Maxwell graduated from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  He gained twenty-six separate certifications in everything from reading blueprints to driving forklifts. Today, he’s responsible for turning on the power for new wind turbines that are being built all around the country. Kirkwood started its wind technician training program three years ago in partnership with Iowa-based Clipper Windpower, combining an industry-based curriculum and donated equipment to give students the hands-on experience they need to succeed.”

For more information, read the full article at The Des Moines Register.

Kirkwood hosts successful I-Renew Energy Expo


This past weekend, Kirkwood Community College hosted the I-Renew Energy Expo. The expo included two floors of booths displaying renewable energy research and innovations, numerous workshops and three keynote speakers (Tim Dwight — former NFL star currently working for a solar power provider; Jeremy Symons — National Wildlife Federation senior vice president of conservation and education; and Bill Leighty — earth protection vice president of the Leighty Foundation).

The Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER) was among the organizations supporting I-Renew. CGRER also setup a booth and displayed their work at the expo. Continue reading

Kirkwood Center installs electric-vehicle charging station


An electric vehicle charging station. Photo by gywst, Flickr.

The Hotel at Kirkwood Center has installed a level 2 electric vehicle charging station in one of its parking stalls – the second of it’s kind available for public use in Eastern Iowa.

The station takes roughly four hours to completely charge a dead battery, and uses cellular technology to update the user on the status of their vehicles charge.

“The Hotel at Kirkwood Center hosts guests from around the country, and even around the world,” said Lee Belfield, general manager of The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. “More of these guests are now driving electric vehicles, and we want to make sure they have a full battery to get back home after their stay with us.”

The City of Cedar Rapids designated $12,000 from an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant program to fund the project, with Kirkwood adding in an additional $2,500.

For more information, read the full article at the Press-Citizen.