More than 50 people gathered at the Durham Technical Community College Northern Durham Center Friday to celebrate the 10th Electric Line Technician graduating cohort.
The Electric Line program started in Spring 2019 out of a partnership with Duke Energy that funded students to participate in the program at no cost, and which covers registration, tuition, fees, and equipment.
The most recent cohort started class on March 28 and the program lasted for 10 weeks. Students learned to climb poles, install equipment, safety codes and applications, overhead and underground electric line construction practices and more. Students also took an online Saturday CDL class for five weeks prior to the Electric Line class beginning.
Indira Everett, Director of Government & Community Relations of the East Region at Duke Energy, said the program began with need, an idea, and a simple conversation with former President of Durham Tech, Bill Ingram.
“In that conversation with Bill, (Duke Energy Senior Vice President of Customer Delivery) Rufus Jackson, and myself, we brainstormed what we knew was an inclusivity challenge in our industry,” said Everett. “We decided to view this challenge as an opportunity – there’s a need, and we were determined to meet that need by starting a line worker program. I was very pleased to get Duke Energy behind that effort.”
In attendance for the ceremony were six former Durham Tech Electric Line Technician graduates who are all currently employed with Duke Energy.
Durham Tech Alumnus Brandon Kidd graduated from the program in March and now works for Duke Energy. He was offered his job halfway through the Durham Tech program and now works in the Duke Energy Fuquay Varina Operations Center.
Kidd said the program helped him by not only teaching him how to climb but what to look for in the industry as well.
“This program helped me with the hiring process and starting off with my job and what to look for,” said Kidd. “This program definitely sets students up to succeed and I hope it gains more attention.”
Jason Haynes, Duke Energy’s Vice President of Zone Operations, spoke about the importance of connections, partnerships, and why having employees from the community is important.
“When you think about community college, when you think about community, it is really fitting for us here at Duke Energy to have folks from the local area representing and serving the place where they live,” said Haynes. “That is one of the most appealing aspects of this workforce training program – not only helping these graduates find employment, but doing so in jobs that provide a vital service for their neighbors. That is really central to our mission.”
The following individuals graduated from the Electric Line class: Iain Bisbal, Tyler Dellinger, Trenton Haith, Christopher Harp, Blake Morgan, and Michael Ptasinski.
The next Electric Line Technician class will begin August 1.
Read more at about the Electric Line Technician program.
For more information, contact Desiree Towson, M.S., Communications and Public Relations Coordinator, at [email protected]