Students soar to new heights (and higher paychecks) in this twelve-week course
In just 12-weeks, you can be earning $54,000 per year (data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) as a lineworker. You don't have to scale tall buildings in a single bound, but you do need to climb tall poles, hoist heavy cross bars, and use hand tools that look like they belong to Paul Bunyan. The work is strenuous, but the pay is good.
At Northampton Community College's Bethlehem Campus, future lineworkers are being trained to construct and maintain the overhead and underground electrical systems that enable the rest of us to power up our lights, TVs and computers. They are also getting instruction in basic electricity and electrical identification, live-line tools metering, climbing and rigging and accident prevention.
They do all this with the help of talented faculty, many who have worked for years as lineworkers themselves, and PPL Electric Utilities. PPL has been involved with the program since the beginning, helping to craft the curriculum. On March 22, 2017, the company donated utility poles for students to train on in their outdoor, sky-high classroom, located behind Hartzell Hall.
"We are very pleased to partner with NCC on this program and feel strongly that it prepares students for the rigors of line work at PPL and other utilities," Carol Obando-Derstine, regional affairs director at PPL, said. "That is why we are pleased to donate poles to the program to help students get hands-on experience."
Michele Pappalardo, NCC's associate dean of Workforce Development said, "This has been a true example of a successful business education partnership from beginning to end. PPL has always been a great support to the program and always make themselves accessible to our students."
After completing the 12-week-course at Northampton, graduates are in the position to be hired as trainees for electric and cable companies with the ultimate goal of becoming journeymen lineworkers.