Pedernales Electric representatives gave demonstrations, spoke on industry trends and met individuals interested in Austin Community College’s utility lineworker program on July 14 at the college’s Utility Lineworker Expo. To meet the needs of the rapidly growing energy industry, the college is introducing a utility lineworker associate degree and technical certificate beginning this fall semester. The event was an opportunity for Central Texans to learn more about a career in the electric industry and for PEC to establish relationships with future lineworkers.
PEC Canyon Lake District Manager Bob DiFonzo, who spoke at the event, emphasized the importance of lineworkers. “Pedernales Electric absolutely depends on its well-trained lineworkers. Their expertise and dedication is one of the reasons PEC has such an outstanding reliability record,” DiFonzo said. “The electric industry is evolving, and it is important that lineworkers are formally trained and have a solid foundation from the start. ACC’s program can provide that foundation and opportunities right here in Central Texas.”
The college expects the new program will address a shortage of lineworkers and prepare a new generation of workers in the electric industry. As demands for electric power grow and new energy sources emerge, the need for trained lineworkers will grow. The Texas Workforce Commission projects a 20 percent job growth in the industry between 2006 and 2016.
“The industry is changing quickly,” DiFonzo said. “The systems of today are more sophisticated, robust and better engineered, and well-trained, skilled lineworkers are a necessity.”
An information session will be held July 24 at 9 a.m. for prospective students interested in enrolling in the fall 2010 semester. To reserve a spot for the information session, visit www.austincc.edu/choices/lineworker. For more information about the new utility lineworker program or to determine qualification for one of several program scholarships, contact Vidal Almanza at 512-223-6404 or e-mail email@example.com.
Representatives from the Lower Colorado River Authority, Austin Energy, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, Georgetown Electric and Oncor also participated in the event.