BRYAN, TX — One thing Texans learned this year was there's no such thing as too many lineman workers. Now with the summer heat rising, will Texas need more hands-on-deck?
A local Lineman Academy is offering training for those interested in beginning a career in the electrical utility industry.
Texas A&M Engineering Extension service is giving anyone interested in this career field real-world hands-on training.
It all began with the difficulty of finding employees who understand the dangers of the job. New hires needed training on the job which took time away from daily tasks.
“Utilities around Central Texas were having difficulty finding quality folks, so we went ahead and started a focus group with those utilities. They basically told us what they would like to see,” said Len Jenicek, the training manager for TEEX infrastructure training safety institute with Texas A&M University System.
Utility companies like BTU provided criteria for what they would like to see in the next generation of lineman. From there they built a 15-week course and launched it back in 2018.
“I’ve been working it since day one and it’s really grown. We started off with two students in the class and last class we graduated 19 students,” said Kevin Moore, the training coordinator for the utilities department at TEEX.
Austin Scallan was looking for a career change when he found many similarities in the work lineman do to the values he held serving in the military.
”Same discipline and the same character from the military has kind of translated into being a line worker, putting others before yourself,” student, Austin Scallan shared.
Scallan understands the dangers of the job but enjoys the opportunity to serve his community.
Justin Lance is following in his uncle's footsteps of becoming a lineman.
“This will just give me a leg up knowing what I'm going into before I go out there and start working," said Justin Lance, Lineman Academy student.
Lance shared he enjoys learning about safety most through the hands-on training.
These students climb a long way from the beginning of the course until graduation.
”Seeing guys come in and get so excited about being able to reach the top of the pole from starting at the ground is really, really something I look forward to seeing every class,” Moore shared.
According to an article published by "Industrial Safety and Hygiene News" electrical lineman work is in the top 10 most dangerous jobs. Therefore, TEEX believes hands-on training is essential.