New workforce training program in south Louisiana offers pathway to electric utility careers

BATON ROUGE – Beginning in January, job seekers in south Louisiana can take advantage of a new program designed to usher participants into electrical line maintenance careers in six months or less.

The Certified Line Worker Training Program, sponsored in part by the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), will equip students with specialized training and certification to secure employment as line helpers and apprentices. It includes classroom instruction paired with hands-on skills training and assessment. Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for employment and can expect to earn a salary of $33-40,000, with the potential to become senior-level line workers within six years, earning a base-level salary of $57,000.

The program will be available at Delgado Community College through a 26-week curriculum and at Fletcher Technical Community College in Schriever under a 16-week curriculum. Both programs offer the same amount of instruction time. Graduates will earn NCCER certification, a nationally-recognized credential, and will also receive job placement assistance.

Certified line workers play a critical role by installing transformers and other pole top equipment.  They are able to identify defective devices, inspect and test power lines, and lay underground cable.

“The Certified Line Worker Training program is a great example of the type of collaboration needed between Louisiana businesses and our state’s education system to develop the workforce that will power Louisiana’s future,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana. “In Louisiana, both the opportunities and the workforce needs are great, and at Entergy, we are committed to helping improve the state’s pool of qualified, skilled workers today to meet the demand created by our state’s growing economy. We look forward to being able to hire graduates of this program so that they can start careers in a job that is without question the backbone of our industry.”

LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie adds, “Our agency is excited to join Delgado, Fletcher, and other industry partners in bringing this workforce development program to job seekers in our state. Such training initiatives can transform a person’s career by providing substantial wages and tremendous growth potential. We anticipate much success from this new initiative and all of its future graduates.”