What’s Working: The Lineman program offers a promising career path
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – In tonight’s What’s Working, training a lineman to help with power outages.
We are in hurricane season and we all know that power outages are possible when storms strike. There is a program at Bishop State Community College to train future linemen. Bishop State partnered with Alabama Power to launch the program a few years ago.
Bishop State is busy training the final class of linemen in this nine-week program. They spend time in the classroom, but most of the program is outdoors. Students begin by learning to balance and feel comfortable up on a utility pole.
Students tell WKRG that they are thrilled to have the opportunity to start a new career.
“I’ve always been interested in electricity and the lineman, and when the opportunity arose I took it,” said student Shawn Black.
“I was in the military. It was like a fraternity working for the military, and I heard that the power company was like that, a fraternity. I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to join the army. community and doing things, so I wanted to go that route, ”said Christopher Cortopassi, a student.
Beth Thomas of Alabama Power says jobs are not guaranteed when students complete the program, but the program has an excellent track record of placing students with a power company. Some students have received multiple job offers.
“There is a need to keep people in the pipeline, to keep people who are trained to do this very important work for the customers who rely on us to keep the lights on,” Thomas said.
A new class of linemen begins in January, but the application process begins in August. Just to give you an idea, over 200 people have applied for this current class of 21. It’s a competitive interview process.
If you are interested in the program, here is a link to the application.
According to Bishop State, most utility companies’ wages start at $ 19 an hour, but there are plenty of opportunities for employees to quickly receive a raise.