PCC, South Korean leaders discuss education and workforce training

Pueblo Community College welcomed representatives from Kunsan National University (KNSU) and CS Wind to the Pueblo campus April 5.

The visit was an opportunity for the college to reciprocate the hospitality shown by both South Korean organizations when PCC President Patty Erjavec and PCC Dean of Arts and Sciences Young Kim visited South Korea last September. During that visit, Erjavec and Lee Jang-ho, president of KNSU, signed a memorandum of understanding to promote educational opportunities for students and faculty at both institutions.

Last fall’s overseas trip also included discussions with representatives of CS Wind about workforce training and development. CS Wind is the largest wind turbine tower manufacturer in the world. Its headquarters are in South Korea but its North American plant is in Pueblo; the company took over the facility from Vestas in 2021. PCC had a long-term relationship with Vestas and provided training programs for its employees.

CS Wind Chairman Seong-Gon Gim, who met with Erjavec last fall, was in Pueblo this week to take part in the groundbreaking for a 900,000 square-foot expansion of the Pueblo plant. The growth is expected to include 850 additional jobs by 2028. 

This week’s meeting at PCC included discussions about how to further the college’s burgeoning relationships with both South Korean institutions. Ideas that are being explored with KNSU include cultural opportunities, classes that could be offered to students at both schools, and exchange programs. Talks with CS Wind focused on increased collaboration and customized training for the hundreds of new employees that will be needed to power the Pueblo expansion.

Dean Young, a native of South Korea, led the group of visitors on a campus tour that included the welding labs and the El Movimiento exhibit. Welding program manager Catlin Davis – a former Vestas employee – shared details about PCC’s curriculum. 

The group also visited the new Teaching and Learning Center on the campus of St. Mary-Corwin Hospital to learn about PCC’s medical and health programs.

“The reciprocal visit by President Lee and his team was an important next step in continuing the memorandum of understanding that PCC and KNSU will work in cooperation to ensure that CS Wind has the skilled workforce globally to continue to grow as the industry leader in renewable energy,” Erjavec said. “It was a privilege to host them on our Pueblo campus.”

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