During the pandemic, most firms cut staff, while Wichita-based Alltite doubled its workforce by focusing on a clean energy job: wind turbine technician. The company provides heavy equipment calibration and fastening services. It had previously worked with oil and gas customers but shifted gears in May when a customer asked if its Kansas staff could service wind turbines all over the country, from California to Rhode Island.
Anne Smith, vice president of opportunity for Alltite, said, “We have such a great opportunity here to really embrace what’s next. It’s not just about trends that are going on, but actually committing to a new industry.” Alltite employed 43 workers at the start of the year. It now employs 94 people, with around 50 flying across the United States to maintain wind turbines.
With naturally plentiful wind and sun, Kansas is well-positioned to develop its workforce in the renewable energy sector. Experts argue that if the state wants to maintain its competitive advantage as the business grows, it must invest in other clean energy areas such as solar, battery storage, and manufacturing. According to E2’s 2021 Clean Jobs Report, Wichita has more workers employed in renewable energy than any other city in Kansas, with approximately 4,500 jobs.
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a nonpartisan, nationwide organization of business professionals who advocate for measures that benefit both the economy and the environment. According to E2’s 2021 Clean Jobs Report, Kansas ranks 32nd in the US for total clean energy employment, with over 22,500 clean energy jobs. Clean energy jobs increased by 8% between 2018 and 2020.