No one is more hands-on with the electric utility industry than lineworkers. To ensure a pipeline of future employees, Duke Energy has been funding strategic initiatives to help enhance and diversify the energy industry’s workforce of tomorrow.
The company has worked closely with community colleges and other educational organizations to attract a future workforce that will have the skills necessary to build and maintain a changing energy infrastructure.
But once workers get to Duke Energy, the fine-tuning of skills is not over. And being the best of the best doesn’t stop.
Every October in Bonner Springs, Kansas, the best lineworkers compete against the best in their trade at the International Lineman’s Rodeo.
The Lineman’s Rodeo events test job-related skills like working safely while climbing fast, making repairs and rescuing an injured teammate while being judged on speed, agility, technique and safety procedures.
In 2019, more than 1,000 lineworkers from the United States, Canada and Australia competed and our Duke Energy linemen roped in six awards, with North Carolina’s Mike Haynes, David Phillips and Neal Walker taking home first place in the world for the journeyman senior division, ages 50 and up.
While most people associate maintaining the grid with the manual work of setting poles and stringing lines, lineworkers are also using drones and computers in their trucks and relay technicians are making the self-healing grid possible. It takes highly skilled talent to tackle the everchanging needs of the industry.
But their work from the front lines is critical to powering our communities now and will continue to be in the future.