The new Electrical Line Technician program at Durham Technical Community College was officially launched at an event at the College’s Northern Durham Center campus on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
The program was created in partnership with Duke Energy to help fill future regional job openings. A nearly $200,000 Duke Energy grant is funding the program.
“North Carolina will need an estimated 1,400 lineworkers for each year for the next five to six years,” Rufus Jackson, Duke Energy Vice President of Distribution, said during the event. “The need is there.”
The need for additional lineworkers is due in part by a plan to update the electrical grid and current linemen retiring.
“As we work to build an even better grid that is engineered for the future and improves the way we serve customers, our need for skilled lineworkers will be even greater,” said Jackson.
The new Durham Tech program will begin in Spring 2019 at the Northern Durham Center campus. Courses will cover elements of electricity, overhead pole and electrical line construction, safety codes and applications, and transformer/meter installations.
Students will be able to earn certifications in OSHA 10 and CPR and their commercial driver’s license in addition to being prepped to enter the workforce as entry-level technicians. The North Carolina Community College System has approved the program as a pre-apprenticeship program.
Durham Tech President Bill Ingram said partnerships like Duke Energy help meet important community needs and provide a talent pipeline for industry.
“It is partners like Duke Energy that keep our College moving forward and help not only the students who come through our doors but help us meet the needs of our surrounding community,” Ingram said.
Durham Tech was one of two North Carolina community colleges awarded a grant this year to start an Electrical Line Technician program, according to Indira Everett, Duke Energy District Manager.
“I’m delighted to see this wonderful partnership come to fruition,” Everett said at the event. “I applaud the way President Ingram and Durham Tech continue to partner with all the businesses in the community to ensure we all engage in moving the needle for our Durham citizens.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony on the grounds of the Northern Durham Center marked the celebration of the new program Tuesday.