By Amanda Sotelo, TSTC Staff
Texas State Technical College will welcome Electrical Lineworker Technology to its Harlingen campus in Fall 2020. And this week, thanks to a donation from Volt Power LLC, the program got one step closer to opening with its pole yard groundbreaking ceremony and installation.
The pole yard, which is located on campus at the corner of Rio Hondo Road and 29th Street, is 12 acres and equipped with 100 electrical poles that will be used to teach climbing, climbing safety, underground and overhead wiring, transmission and distribution systems.
“So much effort from so many people has gone into making this installation possible,” said Eric Carithers, TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology statewide department chair. “These are the fruits of our efforts and a visualization of what was once a dream.”
The pole yard installation was made possible by manpower and materials donated by Atlanta, Georgia-based Volt Power, which provides overhead and underground utility services throughout 18 states.
The donation, with labor, equipment and supplies, totaled more than $17,000.
With an already strong partnership with TSTC, Daniel Welch, head of training at Volt Power and co-chair of TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker advisory board, said the decision to support TSTC in its efforts was a no-brainer.
“TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker program produces the best of the best graduates,” said Welch. “By supporting them, we’re helping them grow and train more highly skilled individuals that will, in turn, help our company and industry in the long run.”
The college has successful Electrical Lineworker Technology programs at its Fort Bend County, Marshall and Waco campuses, and Volt Power has hired numerous TSTC graduates.
“TSTC sets its standards high when it comes to training and providing high-quality graduates,” said Welch. “We’re always impressed by how prepared TSTC graduates arrive at our company. They’ve been given a foundation that leads to great jobs and growth.”
Electrical Lineworker Technology prepares students in areas such as electricity principles, rigging and conveying systems, distribution systems and transformer connections. It offers a certificate and an associate degree track, which are three and five semesters long, respectively.
The program also works closely with TSTC’s Workforce Training and Continuing Education department to ensure that students can obtain their required commercial driver’s licenses through TSTC’s CDL program.
“We plan on training these students so that they are more than prepared to enter an industry where their skills are in high demand,” said Carithers. “It’s partnerships like the one we have with Volt Power that help us meet our goals and give our region and state opportunities.”
TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology associate degree track is also included in the college’s Money-Back Guarantee, which states that if a student does not find employment within six months of graduating, tuition is reimbursed.
TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program is the only one of its kind in South Texas.
Program faculty will be on hand during TSTC’s open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, with presentations at the Aviation Technology building in Room T123.
To register, visit https://tstc.edu/openhouse.
For more information on the Electrical Lineworker Technology program, call TSTC’s enrollment office at 956-364-4934 or program faculty at 903-923-341, or visit https://tstc.edu/programs/ElectricalLineworkerTechnology.