Nash Community College received national media exposure recently after a Bloomberg News campus visit in April. While here, Bloomberg print reporter Craig Torres and TV reporter Lizzie O'Leary conducted interviews with Electric Lineman students and faculty for a story in their series on employable careers in non-tradable markets.
The story highlights individuals like NCC student (now graduate) Chris Housand of Tarboro, a former forklift operator who left his job earlier this year to pursue a more secure career as an electric lineman. Since graduating on May 6, he has begun a four-month paid internship program, at a time when 16.1 percent of men in his age group are jobless, the article reports.
The Nash Community College Electric Lineman Academy awards students a Third Class Electric Lineman Certificate in 16 weeks including 400 hours of combined classroom and construction training. Upon completion, students are qualified for employment as an entry-level line technician. Students completing the certificate have the option of continuing their education leading to a diploma or an associate in applied science degree in electric lineman technology and can continue their education at NCC through on-line courses, or through cooperative agreements with other community colleges. NCC offers two Electric Lineman Academies each year, one beginning in January and one in August.
According to the article, Housand is among a major demographic shift that will likely benefit younger workers as older workers retire.
Bob Schubauer, NCC instructor, shared with Bloomberg that of approximately 30 students enrolling in his lineman classes each semester only about one-third successfully complete the training. The attrition is a result of strenuous exercises including climbing in various weather conditions and the difficult math and other academic requirements.
"The classes are tough and not everyone is cut out for the work," Schubauer said. "I want them to learn the skills and theory now so they realize the potential of what they're handling in the field. The cost of a mistake could be a blown transformer, power outage, injury or death."
The next academy will begin August 15, 2011. The tuition cost for the 16 week program is $952 for in-state and $4,024 for out-of-state. Scholarships and financial aid programs are sometimes available. For more information call 252-451-8228.