In support of West Georgia Technical College’s (WGTC) newly established Apprentice Lineman Program, Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative (EMC) recently donated a fleet bucket truck to be used for the training of up-and-coming electrical linemen.
At one time, individuals interested in linework had to travel outside of the West Georgia area for a certified training program. Now, there is one right down the road. WGTC’s four-week, non-credit course at its Murphy Campus provides students with the necessary skills for an entry-level position in the electric utility industry.
The technical school designed the course based off expert input from neighboring electric utilities including Carroll and Coweta-Fayette EMCs as well as GreyStone, Diverse and Georgia Power who saw the need for a local lineman training program. Course instructor, Scott Teal, is a recent retiree of Carroll EMC and teaches those enrolled in the program electrical safety, construction, pole climbing and beginning in the next cohort, bucket truck operation.
“Carroll EMC has proven to be one of our most steadfast partners for many years,” said WGTC President, Julie Post. “We are deeply grateful for their continued support with the donation of this bucket truck for our electrical lineman program. It’s through partnerships like this one that WGTC is able to provide pathways for our students to be successful.”
Although pole climbing is a required skill to be able to perform, a bucket truck often allows for a safer and much easier way to work on powerlines. Students will learn the features of the truck and how to safely operate the bucket and its controls as well as how to use outriggers. They will also practice simulated bucket truck rescues. Prior to enrollment, students must earn their CDL license.
“Electrical linework is one of the most dangerous jobs,” said Tommy Cook, Vice President of Operations for Carroll EMC. “There is no room for error, so linemen need adequate training before going out in the field. WGTC’s program provides them with the basic training they need, and we have had the opportunity to be a part of it and introduce the students to the cooperative.”
As a cooperative, Carroll EMC operates with a concern for community by encouraging and supporting the education and training of its Members. The co-op helps shape the next generation of lineworkers through not only monetary and non-monetary donations to the WGTC Apprentice Lineman Program but also by offering the Lineman School Scholarship. Recipients of the scholarship receive funding for the cost of tuition, textbooks and other related fees for their chosen lineman school. Online applications are available at carrollemc.com/scholarships and close March 4, 2022.
The next Apprentice Lineman Program cohort will begin this month. For more information about the course and enrollment, contact Linda Sullivan at email@example.com or 678-664-0516.