SGTC Electrical Lineworker graduate now a Methods and Training Specialist at Georgia Power Training Center in Lithonia, GA

July 6, 2016

Eight short weeks in the South Georgia Technical College Electrical Lineworker program paid big dividends for Americus native Michael Hardester, who has just been named Methods and Training Specialist at the Georgia Power Klondike training facility in Lithonia, Georgia.       “We are so proud of Michael Hardester,” said South Georgia Technical College Vice President of Economic Development Wally Summers, who helped design the initial Electrical Lineworker program at South Georgia Technical College and for the Technical College System of Georgia. “Georgia Power and other electric co-ops had a need for electrical lineworkers. Their workforce was aging and they needed a supply of individuals who had the skills, knowledge, and ability to work safely in difficult conditions. Together we made it happen and now over 400 graduates of our program are employed with power and utility companies across the southeastern United States.”       Hardester was in the third Electrical Lineworker Class at South Georgia Technical College. He received a Technical Certificate of Credit in June of 2006 and started working with Georgia Power in the Americus area on July 1, 2006 as an Unassigned Apprentice Lineman 1 (UAL-1). In less than 10 years, he has progressed to become a Methods and Training Specialist for Georgia Power at the Klondike Training facility.       “I was able to apply the skills learned from the Electrical Lineworker program at South Georgia Technical College to make me a successful apprentice. I progressed through my apprenticeship program and made UAL-2 in Hawkinsville,” said Hardester.       He continued to move up through the Georgia Power system by gaining on-the-job skills and additional training at Klondike. He went on to successfully graduate out of the apprenticeship program and become a lineman in Valdosta, Georgia.       He later transferred to the Greensboro, Georgia operating headquarters and moved his family from Americus to Madison, GA. In 2015, he progressed to the Lead lineman position where he was in charge of leading his own crew and guiding his work group to a safe and productive environment.       On June 13, 2016, Hardester had the privilege of becoming the newest Methods and Training Specialist on the Strategy Team at Georgia Power Company. In this role, he will collect, organize and structure information and material into new training, policies, and procedures. This also includes balancing training products with understanding new OSHA standards and how they will impact new and current work practices and procedures.       Hardester will also be involved in new hire strategies working with technical colleges, career camps and events, and other programs that will create awareness of career opportunities for future talent. He will also have the opportunity to serve on different committees, investigation teams, and writing technical documents for the distribution organization. He will deliver and maintain training programs that focus on craft/technical skills that will cover the training from an entry level employee through journeyman in the areas of construction, operation, and maintenance of high voltage utility distribution lines, equipment, and systems. He will also demonstrate and teach safety rules, which is of up most importance in this line of work.         His other duties will include serving as a team leader/coordinator during storm restoration events.       “I am so thankful to South Georgia Technical College and its administration, the faculty and staff for creating the Electrical Lineworker program. I was able to start my career on the right path and after just eight weeks of training, I now have a career of a lifetime. South Georgia Technical College is the reason I was able to become successful in my everyday work,” said Hardester. “I use the skills I learned there to build on and be able to advance to the Methods and Training Specialist position.”       Hardester lives in Madison with his wife Laura Hardester and two daughters, Lily, 7, and Caroline, 4. He was born and raised in Americus, GA and is a graduate of Southland Academy in Americus.