Co-op Lineworkers Continue to Hone Skills at Nash Community College
It takes highly trained and skilled lineworkers to meet the mission of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives — to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to their members. A program that started in 1998 continues to be valuable training in advancing electric lineworkers as they progress in their career to do just that.
Six electric cooperative linemen recently completed advanced education work in Nash Community College’s Electric Lineman Technology program, and a Haywood EMC employee earned an associate degree in 2018. Teamwork and consistent training are benefits for these students as they train with peers from sister cooperatives throughout the program.
The program includes courses with both classroom content and practical, hands-on objectives. The specially designed training field built by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives serves as a controlled environment that allows individuals to increase skills that are directly applicable to work they’re doing back home with their individual cooperatives. They learn skills such as overhead line construction, underground line construction and the National Electrical Safety Code. Beyond classes in line work and energy management, they can take courses toward an associate degree ranging from writing and math to critical thinking, computers and communication.
Since the program began, 22 co-op linemen have graduated with an associate degree. The program is supported entirely by the electric cooperatives, but is also attended by linemen from Duke Energy and the municipal electric systems. In 2019, approximately 400 co-op employees attended the NC Electric Cooperatives’ Job Training & Safety Technical Training Schools at the Rocky Mount-based community college.
—Farris Leonard, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives
Haywood EMCDavid Mehaffey
Summer 2019 Advanced Certificate Recipients (17 Course-Hour Credits)
Blue Ridge EnergyEthan Sluder
Jones-Onslow EMCJeremi Magers
Randolph EMCTimothy Williamson
Sandhills Utility ServicesTravis Byrd
Summer 2019 Third Class Recipients (16 Course-Hour Credits)
Surry-Yadkin EMCNick Newman
Linemen on the move