Training the Next Generation of Lineworkers

SHARE THIS STORY

North Carolina’s community colleges are key to creating a skilled workforce and thriving business climate. That’s why Duke Energy partners with several of these institutions as it harnesses new technologies and works to innovate and transform the customer experience.

The Carolinas Energy Workforce Consortium estimates the industry will need 1,500 new lineworkers each year for the next five to six years in North Carolina. It’s important the company collaborates to develop job-specific training and energy-related curriculums, while helping introduce much needed entry-level talent into the job market.

Duke Energy relies on the expertise of lineworkers to maintain and grow energy infrastructure across the state, not to mention to power North Carolina’s economy and communities. As the company works to build an even smarter energy grid that will improve the way Duke Energy serves customers, the need for skilled line technicians will be even greater.

To date, Duke Energy has partnered with 10 community colleges in North Carolina to develop lineworker training programs that blend hands-on learning and classroom instruction to train the next generation of employees.

One of those institutions is Cape Fear Community College, located in Wilmington, North Carolina. With the help of a $200,000 grant from Duke Energy, the college launched its Power Line Technician Program in June 2018. The program includes a 10-week course to teach students pole climbing and equipment installation as well as commercial driving. This program is graduating roughly 40 new students every class and has projections to reach 150 to 200 graduates annually.

In late 2018, Duke Energy announced it is partnering with the South Carolina Technical College System to invest $1 million in grants to expand training opportunities for lineworkers across the state. A committee will award grants twice a year with a maximum grant for any program capped at $200,000. The Carolinas Energy Workforce Consortium is projecting the need for at least 500 lineworker hires every year for the next five years in South Carolina.