15 Sep 2014

Lineman Training Program Continues to Meet Industry’s Needs

Lineman-Trainee-Class-9-Fall-2014-002.jpg

Front row, from left, are Tyler Findley of Greenville, Jason Ables of Winona, Drew Pounds of
Grenada, Harley Rawles of Grenada, Lawrence Woods of Hollandale, Hunter Swider of Abbeville
and Tanner Bartlett of Kilmichael; back row, Randall Whitworth, instructor from Benton, Dylan Holcomb of Coila, Harrison Burford of Greenville, Lonzo Miller of Leland, Luke McCullough of Paris,
Hunter Holiday of Clinton, Grant Muncher of Greenville, Chase Carpenter of Grenada, Josh Mills
of Abbeville and Joe Curtis Sims, instructor from Hollandale.

Mississippi Delta Community College’s Electrical Utility Lineman Training program is breaking new ground in 2014 with the program’s first female trainee enrolled in its current class.

Harley Rawles of Grenada, Miss., is one of 16 trainees from across the state choosing to pursue a career in the electrical utility lineman industry through MDCC.

“She is no stranger to the industry as her father is a lineman with an area utility company. And as any good parent does, when their child is considering a career after high school graduation, her father set a utility pole in their backyard to begin practice climbing with a buck squeeze (safety climbing belt), boots, hardhat, and climbing hooks,” says John Conrad, MDCC’s project coordinator for the lineman program. “Harley is very familiar with the job requirements and knows the danger and conditions she will face when outages occur. She attended our spring lineman competition rodeo and was undeterred by the work and skill it takes to complete each event. She told me a few days ago that she is happy with her decision and enjoys the class.”

Since the fall of 2010, MDCC’s lineman training program has graduated eight classes. More than 90 percent of program graduates found work and have remained in the electrical utility lineman field.

“Few job training programs can take an individual from no experience through 16 weeks of intensive technical and mechanical skills training and receive job offers starting at $13 to $17 per hour after graduation,” according to Conrad.

Delta Workforce Investment Area and Mississippi Community College Board fund the MDCC lineman training program. This job training program includes 16 weeks of intensive technical and mechanical skills training and results in multiple job offers for the graduates. Dru Morgan, director of MDC’s workforce education division, says, “Our program is recognized regionally by area Electric Power Associations and utility construction companies and continues to save money and up to a year training new employees. Our trainees leave our training prepared to begin work and are ready for the next step to build on their skills and knowledge.  

For more information about the lineman training program, visit www.thecappscenter.com, or contact John Conrad at 662-887-2876 x 14 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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