Sweetwater, Texas, 225 due west of Dallas, made its mark in the late 1800s as a railroad hub. Today, it's known for the power of wind that blows in off the prairies.
Sweetwater is the county seat of Nolan County, home to 1,371 turbines, according to Sweetwater's Chamber of Commerce. It is also home to Texas State Technical College (TSTC), which has offered an associate's degree in wind energy and applied engineering since 2006.
"If my students get through the program and graduate with no background issues, I can pretty much guarantee they will get a job," said Heath Ince, chairman of the college's wind energy technology program and applied engineering department.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of jobs for wind-techs, as they are known, to increase by 24 percent from 2012 to 2022, well above the average growth rate for all jobs of over 11 percent. Still, it's starting from a small base. In 2012, there were 3,200 wind tech jobs; by 2022, it is expected to jump to around 4,000.