Thursday, 12 December 2019 12:15

Lineman exhibition showcases talent within program to potential employers

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CED sales representative Rita Clewis stands with students in the fourth Electric Lineman program and the coordinator for the program, Scott Caulder. CED sales representative Rita Clewis stands with students in the fourth Electric Lineman program and the coordinator for the program, Scott Caulder. RCC

HAMLET — The Electric Lineman program at Richmond Community College graduated its fourth class of lineman students on Wednesday, sending 19 more linemen into the workforce to start a lifelong career in the utility industry.

The lineman graduates coming out of RichmondCC’s program are the cream of the crop, according to the companies that attended the Electric Lineman Exhibition a week before the graduation ceremony. The Exhibition allows the students to showcase their knowledge and skills before potential employers.

““We visit a lot of different schools that offer lineman training, and we really like the skills we see being taught here and the talent coming out of the program at RichmondCC,” said Robert Driver, a corporate recruiter for Utility Partners of America based out of Greenville, South Carolina. “There’s a reason I drive four hours to come to this exhibition.” 

UPA, which partners with utilities and energy cooperatives throughout the country to build, inspect, maintain and upgrade the nation’s utility infrastructure, hired 13 lineman graduates from the previous class. 

Superintendent of Construction Jake McGee and District Manager Tony Eason for Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, who both attended the Exhibition, said the RichmondCC lineman students they have hired have performed really well and they hope to hire more students.

“One of the advantages we’re seeing with the students coming out of the lineman program here is having a CDL learner’s permit. The skills they’re learning in this program puts them ahead of the game,” said Eason.

Another company that has been snatching up RichmondCC’s lineman graduates is MasTec, a multinational infrastructure engineering and construction company based out of Florida.

“Richmond Community College’s lineman program is top in the state, if not the region,” said Eric Thigpen from MasTec. “The program provides what we need. It’s not a cookie cutter program.”

Thigpen praised the Electric Lineman program coordinator, Scott Caulder, and his crew for not only providing great instruction for the students, but also putting together events like the Exhibition and providing packets on each student with names, phone numbers and resumes. 

“This helps us identify these students and makes it easy for us to follow up with them,” Thigpen said. “This is another example of how quickly this program is evolving and meeting the needs of the industry.”

Other companies attending the Exhibition were Lumbee River EMC, Directional Services Inc., Sharpe Co., and Consolidated Electrical Distributers.

Rita Clewis works for CED selling electrical supplies in the Sandhills region. She is a regular visitor to RichmondCC and has provided many Klein Tools for the lineman students to use in class and to take with them after they graduate. CED also provides a scholarship to the top electric lineman student in each class.

“What I like about this program is it’s helping bring back the trade jobs. These type of jobs are the backbone of our country,” Clewis said. “This program has a lot of potential to grow, and I look forward to continuing to partner with the College on this program as well as others.”

Last modified on Thursday, 12 December 2019 14:33