The state of Texas is home to thousands of experienced linemen across the region. Each of these journeymen have to get their start somewhere. One top performing program we chose to highlight in this post is Texas State Technical College and their Electrical Lineworker Technology program at the Fort Bend County, Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses. The program has a five-semester associate degree and a three-semester certificate program.
We recently connected with staff at the program to learn little more about what makes their program so special. The Electrical Lineworker Technology program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee initiative. Students who are in their first semester of the associate degree program are eligible to sign up with TSTC’s Career Services department. Enrolled students participate in the Get-a-Job Program, which encompasses a series of online workshops led by Career Services staff teaching interview techniques, resume writing and other job-searching skills. Students who are not hired in their field within six months after graduation will get their tuition refunded.
Prep for lineman jobs in Texas
Employers appreciate the value of TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program. The program has developed partnerships with local and regional power providers, cooperatives, municipalities and contractors across the state of Texas. The program is so physically demanding that any student who completes it will be ready for a career in linework.
Employers are giving back to TSTC’s campuses. The American Electric Power Foundation has pledged $100,000 to Marshall’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program to help ease the financial burdens of students in need, enabling them to complete the associate degree and/or certificate of completion. The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power and its utility operating units, including Southwest Electric Power Co.
Magic Valley Electric Cooperative has given $20,000 to establish a scholarship for students in TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program in Harlingen. Additionally, CenterPoint Energy has donated utility poles and electrical lines for students to use in TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program at the Fort Bend County campus.
Students going through the Electrical Lineworker Technology program can build confidence in themselves knowing they can start and complete difficult tasks. The students learn that with hard work comes financial independence and security. Students know when they enter the workplace they need to maintain a good attitude, think safety first, show up early, follow through on work, and be ready to do more the next day. Program graduates can easily earn a six-figure income within the first several years of employment.
Developing lineman apprentices in Texas
TSTC’s program faculty members have worked throughout the years to improve the curriculum as the field evolves. The program curriculum and training teach students everything they need to know about being a future lineworker. The hands-on training is outside, rain or shine. It is the program’s goal to make safety a priority. The training provided is physical and demanding, but it has great rewards for students. The program also assists students in job placement.
TSTC’s program has strong enrollment, quality job placement, and vitality. The instructors play a big role in the program’s success. All of the instructors are seasoned linemen and have a passion for the industry. They also lead by example and share their years of knowledge in a way that students understand.
The Harlingen campus is the newest to offer the Electrical Lineworker Technology program. Even though the program is in its first year, prospective students have already expressed an interest in enrolling at TSTC for the fall 2021 semester. This means the program is gaining interest throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
Supporting the future of electrical lineman in Texas
The Waco campus was the first to offer the Electrical Lineworker Technology program. With its success and popularity, the program was expanded to the Marshall campus in East Texas. In September 2017, the program expanded again to the Fort Bend County campus near Houston. In fall 2020, the program began at the Harlingen campus in the Rio Grande Valley.
A student at the Fort Bend County campus had grown up in the state’s foster system and later became homeless. He joined the program while visiting the campus with a friend. When it was discovered that the student was sleeping in the belly of a line truck and attending classes during the day, TSTC’s faculty, staff and the community got to work aiding the student. The student was assisted with food, clothing, a place to live and a mobile phone. He eventually graduated from the Electrical Lineworker Technology program and started his first job, making more than $30 an hour.