FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 26, 2023
Contact: Katie Luckett
Choptank Electric Celebrates First Class of Powerline Worker Pre-Apprenticeship Program
Denton, Md – The inaugural class of the Powerline Worker Pre-Apprenticeship program graduated on December 20, 2023. Seven participants completed this 13-week program offered by Wor-Wic Community College through a partnership with Choptank Electric Cooperative and the Virginia, Maryland, Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC).
“We are proud of these graduates and cannot wait to see the success they will undoubtably have in their careers as powerline workers,” said Mike Malandro, President and CEO of Choptank Electric. “This partnership with Wor-Wic Community College and the VMDAEC supports the future of the industry and provides first-hand training for lineworkers right here on the Eastern Shore.”
The Powerline Worker Pre-Apprenticeship program is grant-funded, so it is offered at no cost for chosen applicants who live or work in Maryland. The grant also covers subsequent CDL training of successful program graduates. Much of the hands-on training is conducted at Choptank Electric’s Regional Service Center facility in Salisbury, right across from the program’s classroom instruction at Wor-Wic Community College.
Program instruction covers OSHA 10, CPR/First Aid/AED, and ATSSA Traffic Control trainings with the goal of students obtaining certifications. Students will gain knowledge of the power industry including power generation, transmission, distribution, and industry safety and standards. Students will have hands-on experience with climbing, setting, and pulling poles, proper rigging and framing, bucket truck inspection, maintenance and operation, and electrical test equipment.
“Not only will these men make good linemen, but they are all really good people, and that is what matters most,” said Jerone Mabe, Powerline Worker Pre-Apprenticeship program instructor and Manager of Technical Services for VMDAEC.
Alan Scruggs, Vice President of Safety and Training Services at VMDAEC, addressed the graduates at the ceremony on December 20 and shared these final remarks, “You now have an insight into one of the best careers imaginable. My advice to you after my 30 years in the co-op family: Never quit learning, always ask questions, and most importantly, always make safety the top priority for you, your families, and your co-workers.”
The program will begin its second cohort in February of 2024. Click here to apply for the next semester and learn more about the Powerline Worker Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Contact Rhonda Banks at Wor-Wic Community College for further details at email@example.com.
About Choptank Electric Cooperative: Choptank Electric, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, is a not-for-profit, member-owned, electric distribution co-op located on Maryland's Eastern Shore serving over 56,000 members. Choptank Electric Cooperative exists to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity that improves the quality of life for our member-owners. For more information about Choptank Electric Cooperative, visit choptankelectric.coop or call our Member Service Center at 1.877.892.0001.