Columbia Gorge Community College Program Profile

Program Name: Electro-Mechanical Technology (formerly Renewable Energy Technology)

Information Updated Spring 2022

Jim Pytel, Columbia Gorge Community College Wind Energy program lead faculty member

Lead Faculty

Jim Pytel is the lead faculty for the Electro-Mechanical Technology Program at Columbia Gorge Community College

Program Information

Date Program Started

The Renewable Energy Technology program evolved from an existing Electronics Engineering Technology program in 2007. In 2017, the program was rebranded as the Electro-Mechanical Technology program to highlight the diverse number of manufacturers that employ graduates.

Geographic Area of Students

Nationally – primarily Pacific Northwest

# of Students in Program

Maximum enrollment = 32 each cohort

Typical enrollment = 24 – 30

# of Faculty Members Teaching Energy

3 Full Time Faculty


Gender: Male 90%, Female 10%

Ethnicity: Caucasian 80%, African American 5%, Hispanic 15%

Veterans: 5%

Degrees / Diplomas / Certificates Offered

AAS: 2 years, 6 quarters

Certificate: 9 months, 3 quarters

Online Resources

Introductory Course Information

Course Name

Power Generation & Transmission

Delivery Mode(s)

Face-to-Face, Online Component, & Lab

Course Duration

Quarter Schedule

# of Credits

5 Credits

Questions & Answers

  • 2 smart classrooms with 120V/208V 3 phase AC outlets at front of class for demonstration purposes.
  • 2 bench labs each station equipped with power supply, function generator, digital multimeter, oscilloscope, and computer. Drop 120V/208V 3 phase AC to each connection.
  • Special purpose equipment lab: electronics, motor control, PLCs, wind turbine nacelle trainer, wind turbine pitch trainer (electrical and hydraulic), pneumatics, protective relays.
  • Mechanics and hydraulics lab: gear boxes, tools, shaft alignment trainers, and rigging.

Yes. Regionally and nationally wind turbine technicians remain in high demand. Additionally, graduates routinely find employment in hydropower, power transmission, advanced manufacturing, avionics, and food and beverage processing.

The Electro-Mechanical Technology program is rooted in rigorous and thorough electronics and motor control. These skills remain in continual demand regardless of industry. Additionally, content for the first year electronics, hydraulics, and motor control courses has been placed online and the courses are
taught using the flipped classroom approach in a hybrid format. Students watch lectures at the time and place of their own choosing and class time is spent in a hardware lab working with actual equipment. The online format additionally allows a student to review content and cuts down on text book expense.

The Renewable Energy Technology program was created with the assistance of:

Since rebranding the program as Electro-Mechanical Technology, the STEM committee has grown to include representatives of:

Students are not required to obtain an internship, however, a large number do accept summer internships with Field Core, GE, HP, SDS Lumber, Powder Pure, and Zepher.

Columbia Gorge Community College’s (CGCC) Renewable Energy Technology program was one of the first three schools to receive the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) seal of approval in 2011. CGCC’s Electro-Mechanical Technology program was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) to develop online resources for the first year electronics, hydraulics, and motor control courses. Links to free online content:

Ready to Learn more?

View the syllabus for Columbia Gorge Community College's Power Generation & Transmission course, or visit Columbia Gorge directly for more information on their Applied Associate Degree & Certificate programs.

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