Electrician worker climbing electric power pole to repair the damaged power cable line problems after the storm. Power line support,Technology maintenance and development industry concept

ROCK SPRINGS – Western Wyoming Community College will offer a new powerline technology program starting Fall 2022. The program will provide students with real-world knowledge and skills to apply for apprentice powerline positions in the electrical powerline field. 

Western sought the support of many statewide companies and agencies in creating this new lineman program. Local industry partners including Rocky Mountain Power, Union Wireless, statewide rural electricity providers, along with local and national union representatives, shared their input on what employers would be looking for when it came to learning outcomes.  

The creation of the powerline technology program was the culmination of these informal discussions, researching best practices, touring the Rocky Mountain Power training facilities, as well as visiting Mitchell Tech in South Dakota to learn about their nationally recognized powerline program in place since the 1970s. 

Western has developed a one-year certificate in powerline technology and an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree in powerline technology. The program has been approved by Western’s Board of Trustees, the Wyoming Community College Commission, and the college regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission. 

These programs will provide students with a quality, affordable education, with real-world knowledge and skills to maintain and repair distribution and transmission electrical power lines, and cable. Students will learn to operate applicable equipment and the use of powerline tools, with a strong emphasis on safety. 

“I am excited that Western will launch the first powerline technology program in our State as an answer to our local and statewide industry needs. These are high-skill, high-pay, high-demand jobs right here in Wyoming, and we greatly appreciate the Governor’s funding of this WIP initiative,” stated Dr. Kim Dale, President of Western Wyoming Community College. 

The Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) is an initiative spearheaded by Governor Mark Gordon as a collaborative effort to develop strategic programming between the state’s higher education institutions. According to a press release from the Governor’s office, the initiative focuses on workforce development in high-potential areas; supporting and training entrepreneurs and new business startups; a research and market analysis agenda aimed at technology transfer and commercialization; and developing outside revenue sources such as corporate partnerships to provide new opportunities for students. 

To learn more about Western’s new Lineman Programs, contact Carlton DeWick, Chair of the School of Manufacturing and Industrial Technology, at cdewick@westernwyoming.edu

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