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Rain or Shine: They’re on the Line to Keep Power on

Have you ever thought about the people who work tirelessly to turn the power back on when a storm knocks it out? FastForward’s power line worker training program at Southside Virginia Community College trains students for a career doing just that – teaching them what it takes to brave the elements and restore power to their community.

SVCC’s program is located on the base of Fort Pickett, which has barracks for students to stay in, and allows students state-wide to participate. The program has already seen approximately 240 students come through, and every student that has stuck with the program and the career-path has found a job at the end of it.

“It’s a program I believe in,” said Brad, former lineman and current instructor in the program. “I thought it was one of the best things I’d ever heard of. I wish it had been here when I came along.”

This FastForward training programs provides students a head-start in the field and prepares them for a career filled with financial stability and benefits. And that preparation starts day one – don’t expect to come to class and sit in a room all day. Before your first day is done, you’re strapping on boots and climbing up the pole.

“It’s just like coming to work, more or less, than it is a training program,” Brad said. According to Brad, a large percentage of line workers will be retiring in the next five to ten years. With an aging workforce, the program’s main focus is to train qualified people to fill the spots of the retirees. Brad hopes to continue to promote the program and bring awareness to the need for young line-men.

“As long as I am physically able, I hope I can stick with the program and give what I can to it,” he said. “Maybe we can raise up a young work force that is responsible and will help keep the lights on.”

If you’ve ever considered a career in the powerline field or a career in another skilled trade, contact us to learn more about the different programs we offer.