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First Apprentice Lineman Class Opens At WGTC

Class is officially in session for the students of the new Apprentice Lineman program at West Georgia Technical College.

The inaugural class – Jaylen Baker of Bowdon, Jack Beverly of Carrollton, Justin Pate of Bowdon, William Teague of Douglasville and Adam Warner of Fayetteville – began the 4-week training program on October 4.

The Apprentice Lineman program, offered by the Economic Development Division at WGTC, was created after local industry partners expressed a need for lineman training in the West Georgia area. It is the first non-credit lineman program offered by a technical college in the state of Georgia.

“We are honored that our partners from Carroll EMC, Coweta-Fayette EMC, Diverse Power, GreyStone Power and Georgia Power came to us with the need for a lineman program, and we are excited to work with all of them to fulfill that need,” Vice President of Economic Development and Community Affairs Angela Berch said. “It is a true collaborative partnership that we are proud to be a part of.”

The program was totally customized based on input from the industry partners. Students in the program will be trained with the necessary skills for entry level lineman employment including safety, construction, pole climbing and more. Students will also earn CPR, OSHA 10, and DOT flagging credentials and learn soft skills such as interviewing and resume writing.

Recent Carroll EMC retiree Scott Teal is the instructor. Teal started his career at Carroll EMC as a meter reader in 1987. During his time there he became an Apprentice Lineman, Lineman, and ended his 34-year career this year as a System Design Staker.

“West Georgia Tech is fortunate to have Scott Teal as the instructor for the Apprentice Lineman Program,” Executive Director of Economic Development Linda Sullivan said. “He recently retired after 34 years at Carroll EMC so he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job. He has been so supportive and dedicated to this program from day one, and his excitement about the students’ accomplishments in the first week of class has been contagious. We are thrilled to have him on board.”

Although retired, Teal signed on as instructor of the program because he saw a great opportunity to share his knowledge with future linemen.

“As my generation retires, it is imperative for us to give back to our career to train up new linemen with the latest and newest improvements while continuing to keep the focus on safety,” Teal said. “This training will provide the foundational skills needed for future linemen as they begin their adult lives in a career that puts others first.”

Teal is already impressed with his first group of students and how they have exceeded his expectations.

“While I was reluctant to make a commitment to a new position so soon after retirement, the students’ eagerness to participate and improve further drives my desire to see them certified to climb poles safely,” Teal said. “Based on my observations thus far, I am expecting a 100 percent success rate. The support of area EMCs, Georgia Power and Southwire Company is a blessing. The generosity of these businesses shows their interest in developing talent to enter the workforce, and we sincerely appreciate their time, resources and their aligned focus on safety.”

The next Apprentice Lineman Program cohort will begin in January 2022 and will be conducted at WGTC’s Murphy Campus in Waco. A CDL license is required for admission into the program. WGTC conducts both day and evening CDL programs at the Carroll Campus. For more information about the Apprentice Lineman Program, contact Linda Sullivan at linda.sullivan@westgatech.edu or 678-664-0516.

West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers more than 140 associate degree, diploma, and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is one of the largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, visit www.westgatech.edu.

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