ST. PETERSBURG — Electrical line installers and repairers are in high demand in Florida. In 14 weeks, people can enter the energy industry and start earning $52,000 or more a year after completing St. Petersburg College’s (SPC) new electrical lineworker program.
Starting March 15, students can prepare for this career at SPC’s Allstate Center in St. Petersburg. They’ll gain hands-on, essential lineworker skills and receive additional CPR/First Aid, commercial driver and OSHA 10 training.
Scholarships that provide free training are available for qualified students to help them complete the program.
Filling workforce needs
Florida has the fourth-highest employment level for this occupation in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With tropical weather that can regularly interrupt the power supply, skilled workers are sought after in the state.
“SPC is committed to partnering with businesses to streamline access for our students to gain valuable skills and meet local workforce demands,” SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams said.
SPC Lineworker Consortium powers new cente
On Monday, Feb. 22, community members celebrated the grand opening of the Power Florida Training Center, which will serve as the new program’s home. The college collaborated with Duke Energy, PowerTown Line Construction, the Pinellas County Urban League and other community partners to launch this program and help close this workforce gap.
“Thank you, Duke Energy and PowerTown Line Construction for your generosity and support of student success,” said Williams. Also, thank you to all of the other members of the SPC Lineworker Consortium for your industry expertise, which was invaluable in making our Power Florida Training Center a reality.”
In an effort to find local and diverse talent, Duke Energy generously donated $100,000 to develop the training facility, hire an instructor and purchase classroom equipment. The program also was funded by the Florida Department of Education’s Rapid Credentialing Grant, which came out of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“Duke Energy Florida is proud to collaborate with St. Petersburg College on its new electrical lineworker program. It strengthens the diverse workforce pipeline needed to provide reliable power and provides our neighbors good-paying jobs to support the vitality of our communities,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “This curriculum ensures graduates will be ready to work with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful.”
As a member of the SPC Lineworker Consortium, PowerTown offered industry insight on the project and oversaw construction of the training yard. Steve Magenheimer, PowerTown Line Construction Training Director, will teach the program’s first training cohort next month.
“PowerTown is excited to collaborate with St. Petersburg College to bring more than 30 years of experience to the classroom,” Magenheimer said. “Not only will students be prepared for various roles, the training program will also instill the principles of diversity, safe work practices, proper work methods and team building.”