Like a baseball farm system, Lamar Institute of Technology’s (LIT) utility line technology program is preparing graduates for the big leagues. And, for some graduates, the big league is a line crew at Entergy Texas. For years, LIT developed future Entergy employees by preparing students to work in the power line industry as apprentice linemen. That talent development will continue with a recently awarded $10,152 grant from Entergy Texas to the LIT Foundation for the purchase of new equipment for the lineworker training program.
On hand at the check presentation was: Dr. Lonnie Howard, LIT president; Entergy Texas’ Vernon Pierce, vice president of customer service, Pam Williams, customer service manager; and Ricky Riggs, utility foreman. Logan Chilek and Cade Sherwin, who graduated from the program in 2009 and 2010, respectively, attended the presentation. Now they are both Entergy Texas linemen in Beaumont.
Apart from actual equipment, the grant will go a long way in equipping graduates with the needed skills to prepare for tomorrow’s workforce today.
“Anytime we partner with a business or industry, we try to tailor our programming specifically for that company. For example, we included pole climbing in our curriculum at the request of Entergy,” said Dr. Lonnie Howard, LIT president.
Pierce, a member of the LIT Foundation, appreciates the pipeline of talent that LIT provides.
“We’re very proud to have a lineworker training program that is feeding us such great talent. We’re constantly looking for the best and the brightest, and this program gives graduates a head start,” said Pierce.
After LIT’s rigorous 32-week program, and once graduates join Entergy, they take part in a shortened linemen boot camp. And, according to Sherwin, it is here where they become versed in the Entergy way.
So, with a little conditioning, LIT graduates are ready to hit a home run their first time at the plate because of the experience and training provided by the program.
To learn more about LIT’s utility line technology program, visit its webpage. You can also learn more about Entergy's commitment to workforce development online.