Career question leads to high school lineman day

Published 2:39 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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Avery Hicks had this idea that he wanted to be a lineman – climbing poles to help keep the electricity flowing.

He mentioned this idea to Alyse Wooldridge, career planning coordinator for Davie County Schools.

She had seen a video of a “lineman” school, put on by an electrical cooperative in eastern North Carolina. She mentioned this to Jennifer Asbury, a human resource development specialist with EnergyUnited.

Wooldridge had little else to do, as Asbury “ran with it.”

On April 21, the result was Davie’s first lineman’s school, where EnergyUnited employees guided 12 Davie High students through some of the duties of a lineman, from working high up in a bucket truck, to working a digger derrick truck to demonstrations on line work – a bit closer to the ground.

“We want to show the students there are opportunities out there where they can make a good career,” Asbury said. “This helps give them some hands-on experience to make their decision.”

That decision could pay off well, she said.

Almost all who finish EnergyUnited’s 10-14 week lineman school have job offers upon graduation, Asbury said. Entry level employees make $25 per hour, and those who stay on the job can earn as much as $100,000 a year as a journey lineman, which can take seven years or more.