(SWEETWATER, Texas) - Rebecca Fortuna was looking to do something more with her life. After starting a career in health information, in 2016, Fortuna found out she wanted more than an office job.
“I am the type of woman who wants to do something different. I like to use my hands,” she said. “I didn’t mind the desk job. I just wanted more in my life. All of my brothers work in the wind industry, and I wanted to know what I had to do to get in the field.”
Fortuna started Texas State Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology program in the spring and is working toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. She knew that working in the wind industry would have its demands, especially since it is a male-dominated profession. But that has not stopped her.
“I am not afraid of a challenge. The wind industry is all around us, and it is growing so fast,” she said. “I wanted to be involved in that and wanted to be able to see different things.”
Being a self-described busybody, Fortuna said the wind industry will provide her with different challenges.
“It is not a boring field because everything is changing daily,” she said. “This program teaches you so many different concepts. I like to get my hands dirty.”
Fortuna said her first semester was enlightening, and she quickly learned that she chose the right career path. Being a female did not deter her, and many of her friends in the field cannot wait for her to graduate.
“They have talked to me about coming to work with them. I know that I will have a lot of options available,” she said. Fortuna hopes she can influence other females to enroll in the program. “A lot of the girls that I work with at my current job are intimidated because it is male-dominated,” she said. “I tell them it is not what they would expect. It is a great program for women.”
Fortuna said instructor Billie Jones has been instrumental in helping her learn more about the industry. “Billie has been great. She will get in there and help you with anything,” Fortuna said. “I have told girls that they need to talk to her if they are interested in the program.”
Fortuna said her male classmates are willing to help her and others. “They are open to help, no questions asked. There are no limitations among us,” she said.
TSTC offers Wind Energy Technology at the Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses. For more information, go to tstc.edu.