SCTC Responds to Need, Makes Plans to Begin Electrical Lineworker Program

Southern Crescent Technical College (SCTC) is making plans to begin offering the two semester program Electrical Lineworker, set to begin this fall semester at the Flint River Campus in Thomaston. This program has initially been targeted to high school students, although it is open to anyone interested in the program.

The Electrical Lineworker Technical Certificate of Credit program consists of 4 courses which provide students with the necessary knowledge and skill to gain employment as an entry-level lineworker with electrical utility companies, both public and private. Topics include lineworker organization principles, lineworker workplace skills, lineworker automations skills, and lineworker occupational skills.

“An entire generation of experienced linemen are retiring across the country and we’re seeing it firsthand at Southern Rivers Energy,” says Ernie Neubauer, Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Southern Rivers Energy in Barnesville, Ga. “The new Electrical Lineworker program offered at SCTC will not only help provide a skilled workforce for local utilities but also provide graduates with the opportunity for a rewarding, lifelong career.”

According to Dr. Mark Andrews, Executive Vice President at Southern Crescent Technical College, “When visiting with companies in our area, we kept hearing the same thing - the current labor force for utility companies is ageing with the retirement of baby boomers. It has become apparent that there is a large skills gap with potential new employees.  If graduates from the Electrical Lineworker Technical Certificate of Credit can pair their skills earned with a Commercial Truck Driving Certificate, it would make applicants extremely marketable when applying with utility companies.”

“We believe well-trained employees are more valuable to the co-op and can provide our members with the high quality of service they’ve come to expect,” says Neal Trice, President/CEO with Upson EMC. “That’s why we have partnered with Southern Crescent Technical College to encourage future linemen into taking courses to help improve on-the-job skills through their Apprentice Lineworker Program.”

John T. Harkness, Jr., Vice President of Distribution Services at Central Georgia EMC agreed, “With improved economic growth and a maturing electric utility work force, Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (CGEMC) recognizes the need for expansion of our electric utility work force. Over the past couple of years, CGEMC has encountered difficulties hiring experienced or highly skilled line workers. The Electrical Lineworker program at Southern Crescent Technical College addresses our need and CGEMC fully supports it. This is an excellent program to assist potential employees with developing skills that could lead to a rewarding career path in the electric utility industry.”