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Community college to offer power-line worker training program

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Southside Virginia Community College will begin offering a new program this year aimed at training students to become power-line workers.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the program is designed to address a projected shortage of skilled electric utility line workers in Virginia.

Electric utilities expect many of their current workers to retire in coming years. 

The community college program will include 11 weeks of classroom and hands-on training in preparing students for employment as apprentice line workers. 

Southside Virginia Community College’s proposal was one of five successful entries in the first Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions, which was announced last fall.

The Power Line Worker Training Program will receive a $200,000 matching incentive grant from the commonwealth. The grants are intended to provide new workforce training options and help develop Virginia’s economy.

Virginia’s 13 consumer-owned electric cooperatives worked with the governor’s office and community colleges on the pre-apprentice training program.

Southside Electric Cooperative, which is based in Crewe, developed a prototype “Day in the Life of a Lineman” program with local schools. 

The program was intended to spark interest among students in pursuing careers as line workers.

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