A year since its launch, the Cape Fear Community College Electrical Lineworker Training program graduated its fourth class this Tuesday. Thirty-three students graduated, bringing the total number of graduates to 113.
Following the ceremony, the graduates participated in interviews with employers. Present were MasTec Utility Services, Duke Energy, Pike Electric, Utility Lines Construction Services, Volt Power, LLC, Primoris Services Corporation, Lee Electrical Construction, and River City.
John Downing, CFCC Dean of Continuing Education, recognized outstanding employer partnerships during the ceremony. The first recognized was MasTec Utility Services. MasTec has hired over 50 percent of the graduates of the Electrical Lineworker training program. “MasTec has been generous in helping us expand our underground training program by providing an excavator which the students practiced on and other materials that enabled the students to learn how to work with underground cables,” said Downing.
Other employers recognized were River City Electric, who donated the school’s first bucket truck and Duke Energy, who was instrumental in the launch of this program with the Duke Energy Apprenticeship Grant. The grant provided $200,000 to start the program and has supplied students a $250 boot allowance and a $185 tuition reimbursement.
“The demand for employees in this industry was created by two factors. First, a need to modify the grid and second, the number of aging lineman that are retiring out of the existing workforce. This created the perfect situation that is the demand for electrical lineworkers in this industry,” said Downing. “The true test of any training program is if the employers will hire your graduates. We have graduated 113 students and so far every student has had at least one job offer for employment. This program attracts students from all over North Carolina, the United States, and veterans from several military bases. This program’s success is based entirely on our cooperation with employers like MasTec, Duke Energy, Pike Electric, VOLT Power, River City Electric, Four County Electric Membership Corporation, among others.”
The 10-week Electrical Lineworker Training program prepares students for a career as an electrical lineman. The program teaches students to set and climb poles; install cross arms, hardware, lines, and transformers; use tools and equipment of the trade through field experience; overhead and underground construction practices; electric theory and practice; and commercial driving.
To learn more about the Electrical Lineworker Training program, visit cfcc.edu/workforce/lineman.