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Inaugural Lineworker Career Day inspires new generation in southeast Alabama

Lineworkers play a pivotal role in ensuring the delivery of safe, reliable electricity. Often operating under challenging conditions, they are on the front lines working tirelessly to build, maintain and repair the electrical power systems that light our homes, power our businesses and keep critical infrastructure running.

Alabama Power is recognized as having some of the best lineworkers in the business, and they have demonstrated a passion about sharing their knowledge with the next generation of lineworkers.

Approximately 50 high school seniors from schools across the Wiregrass area recently had an exclusive opportunity to shadow seasoned professionals to better understand the skills it takes to be a successful lineworker at an inaugural lineworker career day event held at the Alabama Power crew headquarters in Headland.

This lineworker career day event was set into motion after several career coaches reached out to Alabama Power seeking in-depth educational opportunities for students interested in linework.

Enterprise City Schools Career Coach Angela Brockman believes career days like these are essential to helping students plan for their future after high school and provide a better understanding of career opportunities available to them, especially in the field of linework.

“When students ask about becoming a lineworker, I explain the requirements and show them things online, but I really wanted them to be able to see and experience more,” Brockman said. “Alabama Power employees have helped me numerous times at school, and on many occasions, we’ve discussed how to help students explore this career path. After discussing various possibilities, the idea for a lineworker career day came about.”

Brockman also spoke to the success of the event and how it met her goal of allowing students to further explore the field of linework.

“This lineworker career day has been an amazing experience for these students and definitely fulfilled my desire to allow interested students a closer look at this great career path,” she said.

John Paul Jones, senior regulatory compliance analyst for Alabama Power, opened the event with a welcome and safety briefing before discussing the qualities lineworkers should possess, such as physical and mental strength, a mentality for teamwork, attention to detail, problem solving and, most importantly, serving others.

“Linework is more than a job; it’s a commitment to keeping communities powered,” echoed David Norwood, Alabama Power Southeast Division community relations manager. “These students are eager to learn, and we’re thrilled to help them explore their passion. We’re not just hosting an event; we’re investing in the future of our community and our company.”

Students were divided into groups and rotated through six interactive stations during the day, each designed to showcase different facets of linework. From power line safety and pole climbing to understanding the intricacies of electrical circuits and operating a bucket truck, students gained a comprehensive understanding of linework through demonstrations and hands-on activities, guided by knowledgeable Alabama Power lineworkers and other employees.

Alabama Power engineering supervisors Manny Andino and Brian McAllister were present at the event and expressed their passion for teaching young minds about linework.

“It’s always a positive when we can interact with students in our local communities and teach them more about our business and opportunities with Alabama Power,” McAllister said. “For this event, we wanted to take it a step further by creating an environment where they could get real, hands-on experience with what our lineworkers do on a daily basis. Hopefully, today’s experience inspired some students to become part of the next generation of Alabama Power lineworkers.”

“Seeing the focus and dedication of our lineworkers up close will surely inspire these young minds,” added Andino. “It’s about showing them the ropes, literally and figuratively.”

To round out the program, participants heard from Alabama Power Workforce Development Coordinator Jason Watters who discussed the company’s partnerships with colleges in the state, resume development, tips for applying to jobs and interview best practices.

One attendee, Bradley Spurlock, a senior at Eufaula High School, first became interested in linework after learning more about the field from a friend who graduated from Wallace Community College’s pre-appreciate electrical lineworker program.

“Seems fun to be outside and climbing poles,” said Spurlock. However, after attending the lineworker career day event, Spurlock learned that linework is much more. “Lineworkers should always have determination and be looking forward to doing something new every day.”

When asked if the event made him more interested in becoming a lineworker, Spurlock answered, “100%!”

Alabama Power representatives were encouraged by the student participation at this inaugural lineworker career day and would like to make it a recurring event in southeast Alabama.

“The future of our industry and the next generation of Alabama Power lineworkers looks bright,” said Alabama Power Distribution Manager Christy Coates. “The students who attended our lineworker career day were engaged and eager to learn. Alabama Power is hopeful that we’ll continue this event for years to come.”

The career day took place the week following Lineworker Appreciation Day, which is observed on April 18 each year to honor the dedication, skill and bravery of lineworkers.

Those who would like to show appreciation to lineworkers can visit the Thank-A-Lineworker page on Alabama Power’s website to share a comment, a memory or a story to honor lineworkers and field representatives.