Columbia Gorge Community College Program Profile

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

Information Updated November 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.

# of Students in Program

Maximum enrollment 32 each cohort. Typical enrollment 24-30.

# of Faculty Members Teaching Energy

2 Full Time Faculty

1 Part Time Faculty

Degrees / Diplomas / Certificates Offered

Certificate & AAS Degree

Delivery Mode(s)

Face-to-Face, Online, & Hybrid

Program Duration

9 Month & 2 Year Programs

Questions & Answers

Historically high schools, however, Oregon Work Source has enrolled individuals seeking job training in the Electro-Mechanical Technology program.

  • 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.

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 GE, Vestas, Siemens, Avangrid, and EDF. Since rebranding the program as Electro-Mechanical Technology the STEM committee has grown to include representatives of Bonneville Power Administration, US Army Corps of Engineers, Cardinal Glass, Turtle Island Foods, HP, Insitu, 3 HoodTech, CloudCap, and SDS Lumber.

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.

Presently graduates of the Electro-Mechanical Technology program have 100% job placement as technicians are extremely sought after in OR and WA.

Yes, the Hood River high school agriculture program has an articulation agreement in place with the mechanics course. Additionally, WA running start allows high school students to enroll in the Electro-Mechanical Technology program.

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 second grant from the
National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) to develop online resources for electronics, hydraulics, and motor control courses. Links to free online content:

View the full Columbia Gorge Community College Electro-Mechanical Technology Program

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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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