South Georgia Tech Industrial Electrical Technology graduate, Sam McCrary who works with Flint Energies as a lineman, is shown above on a pole at SGTC’s skills field working one-on-one with an Electrical Lineworker Apprentice Course student. He is demonstrating proper pole climbing techniques and giving him some helpful suggestions.
SGTC Graduate Demonstrates Lineman Techniques to ELAC Students
Monday October 8, 2007
Americus, Ga.— When Sam McCrary graduated from high school in Taylor County in 1997, he knew he wanted to work as an electrical lineworker, but he decided to continue his education just in case something didn’t work out like he planned.
McCrary enrolled in the South Georgia Technical College Industrial Electrical Technical Program in Americus in the fall of 1997. He received his IET degree in two years and went to work for Pike Electric Company for a few months before signing on with Flint Energies in Warner Robins. He has been working with Flint Energies as a lineworker for the past seven years.
He was back on the South Georgia Technical College campus recently demonstrating lineworker pole climbing techniques to the ninth class of students who are taking advantage of South Georgia Technical College Electrical Lineworker Apprentice Course that helps prepares students for a career as an electrical lineworker.
“I was glad to be able to come out today and work with these students,” said McCrary. “I feel like some of the things that I have learned over the past seven years might be beneficial to these students.”
McCrary will be representing Flint Energies in the 2007 International Lineman’s Rodeo on Saturday, October 27th in Bonner Springs, Kansas. He and two other Flint Energy lineworkers will be competing as a team against the best linemen from around the world in events based on traditional lineman tasks and skills. They will be competing in the Hurtman Rescue and the Pole Climb as well as two Mystery Events against over 300 three person teams from around the U.S. There will also be over 400 apprentice linemen competing there.
This is McCrary’s second trip to the International Rodeo. He competed several years ago in the Apprentice competition. He has also competed in the Georgia Lineman’s Rodeo in Perry.
“I love what I do. This is obviously not for everyone, but it is a very good career,” said McCrary. “South Georgia Tech’s Electrical Lineworker Apprentice Course is good preparation for a career as a lineworker. I wish it had been around when I graduated from high school. It will let these students know if this is something that they are interested in as a career before they invest a lot of time, energy, and money.”
This is South Georgia Technical College’s ninth Electrical Lineworker Apprentice Course. The ELAC program was developed as an immediate response to industry demands. There is a current shortage of trained lineworkers in the electrical industry and the SGTC Electrical Lineworker Apprentice Certificate Training Program is the result of a partnership between South Georgia Technical College and several power companies including Flint Energies.
“There are four basic modules of study for this course as well as physical requirements, mechanical ability requirements, general electrical safety skills, and positive work ethics,” explained Wally Summers, Vice President of Economic Development, at SGTC. “Successful graduates will have entry level skills that the regional utility companies are looking for because they were instrumental in the original design of the course offerings. Students will also work 30 hours with a regional utility company as part of the training.”
Admission requirements for ELAC include: 18 years of age by program graduation date, a high school diploma or G.E.D. and a valid driver’s license as well as the enrollment requirements of South Georgia Technical College. The program cost qualifies for the HOPE Grant.
Anyone interested in enrolling or wanting more information about ELAC should contact Wally Summers or Tami Blount at South Georgia Technical College at 229-931-2040 or visit the website at: www.southgatech.edu.
Successful completion of the seven week training course qualifies students to obtain entry-level employment with regional utility companies and 99% of the graduates are offered jobs.