WCC Graduates Second Class of Power Line Worker Students
Seventeen students recently became the second class of Power Line Worker Training Program graduates at Wytheville Community College (WCC). John Addison of Wytheville, Nolan Davis of Galax, Donald Boles of Rural Retreat, Blake Earhart of Wytheville, Joshua Kaulfuss of Rural Retreat, Jesse Lane of Wytheville, Anthony McMillian of Independence, Shane Osborne of Mouth of Wilson, Kasey Pickle of Rural Retreat, Chandler Rosenbaum of Abingdon, Logan Simone of Galax, Shane Sisk of Ivanhoe, Cody Spencer of Galax, Nick Swearengin of Max Meadows, Dustin Testerman of Independence, and Zachary Watson of Galax all received their certificates during a ceremony on Thurs., Oct. 26, 2017.
WCC President Dean Sprinkle, Instructor Michael Morrison, and Vice President of Workforce Development Perry Hughes brought remarks to a full audience that included many friends and family of the students, as well as local industry representatives from Appalachian Power, Buckingham, Bradley Electric, and Special Fleet.
Students Donald Boles and Logan Simone spoke on behalf of their graduating class. The students described each other as strangers on the first day of class and brothers by the last day of class.
“The power line worker community is a tight-knit group with a close comradery,” said Morrison. “These students literally need to be able to trust each other with their lives during our training and when they go out into the workforce. They become concerned for each other’s personal safety in class and eventually invested in each other’s personal well-being outside the classroom as well. They become our extended family.”
The Power Line Worker Training Program at WCC provides the opportunity for students to complete a 14-week program, earn industry-related credentials, and be prepared for employment with a possible starting salary ranging from $15-$20 per hour. WCC’s program includes six weeks of truck driver training, OSHA 10 training, pole top and bucket rescue training, and CPR. Additionally, students gain knowledge of climbing, electrical equipment, and powerline pole framing. Students who complete the course earn industry recognized credentials including OSHA 10 T&D, CPR, CDL, VDOT flagging, and NCEER certifications.
Industry support for the Power Line Worker Program has been tremendous, with Appalachian Power initially donating time to install poles for student instruction and providing over $10,000 in program support. More recently, Appalachian Power donated a 2001 International 4700 Digger-Derrick line truck, which is used for lifting equipment and material; winching; setting poles, towers, and structures; and setting anchors. This truck helps enable students to learn the proper procedures and safety techniques for the power line industry.
These recent graduates are now prepared to work in the field and can work either locally or anywhere across the country. Students who successfully complete the program and related licensure exams will also leave the program with industry required training gear and hand tools needed for most jobs.
Enrollment is now open for the next Power Line Worker class. It is tentatively scheduled to begin on January 8, 2018. Please contact Vicki Marrs, Fast Forward Career and Credentials Coach, at 276-223-4717 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Front Row (sitting):
Perry Hughes (WCC Vice President of Workforce Development), Mike Morrison (WCC Instructor), Tyler McMillan, Zachary Watson, Nolan Davis, Blake Earhart, Dustin Testerman, John Addison, Donald Boles, Josh Kaulfuss
Back Row (standing):
Jesse Lane, Keith Sparks, Nick Swearengin, Ralph Hall (WCC Instructor) Kasey Pickle, Shane Osborne, Logan Simone, Chandler Rosenbaum, Cody Spencer, Shane Sisk