News Center > Arkansas Energy Workforce Consortium Breaks Ground on Line Worker Training Pole Yard
Arkansas Energy Workforce Consortium Breaks Ground on Line Worker Training Pole Yard
An empty field next to UA – Pulaski Tech Business and Industry Center will soon be home to rows of utility poles for training line workers. Leaders from utility companies in the state, workforce development groups and community colleges were on hand Monday while workers set the first pole for the new certified line worker training program.
The first cohort of students in the program is scheduled to begin in late summer and will last approximately six months. Students who complete the program will be certified in several areas, including Certified Line Worker, National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core, Power Line and Power Line Worker Level 1 with modules from 2 and 3; Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10; cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPA) First Aid Basic Plus; and 600 hours of curriculum and exercises. Some students will receive Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) Training as well.
“Entergy Arkansas is like every other electric utility in the state and across the country,” said Michael Considine, vice president of customer service for Entergy Arkansas. “We don’t have to look very far into the future to see that we will need more line workers, and we will need a more diverse skill set and experience level from those workers. We are excited to partner with all the other electric utilities in the state as well as our contractors, state workforce groups and the community colleges to help identify and train the line workers for the future. Sometimes people forget that line workers are first responders in storms and natural disasters. These men and women are critical to keeping all of our lives and businesses running smoothly.”
To qualify for the program, students must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license, be able to pass a drug and background check and be comfortable working at heights of up to 40 feet.
“One of our goals is to work with industry in the state to train a workforce that will be in demand and prepared for the jobs of the future,” said Chancellor Margaret Ellibee. “We are pleased about the enthusiasm we’ve seen from both potential employers and students about this program and what it can mean for the future of energy workers in Arkansas.”
A similar program is underway at Arkansas State University – Newport. Plans are underway for another certificate program to begin later in 2019 at Northwest Arkansas Community College.
Students interested in being part of the first cohort for UA – Pulaski Tech should call 501.907.6670.
The Arkansas Energy Workforce Consortium is a coalition of electric utilities and contractors, community colleges and workforce development groups which projects energy worker needs and finds creative solutions to locate, educate and train workers for careers in energy in Arkansas.