CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Four students who participated in the line-workers Academy at Del Mar College are getting ready to enter the electrical lineworker workforce.
Leonard Rivera, the Del Mar College Vice President of Continuing Education, said that the program was intense for the participants.
“It’s a new program," Rivera said. "This is a 10-week program, so this is the first class that we had. This is the only program of this type in this area. No other college in this area offers this lineworker program.”
The program was developed to expose more people within the industry, because of a shortage of lineworkers in Texas.
Many electric providers throughout Nueces County have been struggling to recruit lineworkers.
“It’s a new program we developed to support the local and area utility companies so that we can have individuals that work at the lines,” Rivera said.
Throughout the program, students learned how to do pole top rescues, personal protective groundings and cross-arm change exercises, so they will be prepared when they enter the workforce.
"Nueces Electrical Co-op, AEP Texas, San Patricio — they all have expressed to us a big need, a big demand for lineworkers,” added Rivera.
The NEC provided their training field to the college for students to get the opportunity to put into practice what they’ve learned.
They held a recognition ceremony for the students who completed the program at the NEC training field in Robstown.
Participants like Christopher Luzania said that the class has provided him with hands-on training.
“This job is perfect for working outdoors and the weather — you see, it’s very windy out here, but it’s not a problem,” Luzania said. “If it starts raining, we’ll keep working. Doing this job, you’re supposed to be out in the elements, and we’re all looking forward to that.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning potential in Texas for an entry-level electrical line worker range from $19 to $35 per hour.
Registration for the programs summer session is open until May 15.
Those interested in more information about the program or wanting to enroll, can do so here.
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