Power outage 2

An unidentified Athens Utilities lineman works to restore power at a problem area off South Jefferson behind Kentucky Fried Chicken in this undated file photo.

Calhoun Community College is now taking applications for the school's pre-apprentice lineworker program, according to a press release.

The eight-week program is offered regionally and based on industry need and demand. In addition to the lineworker training, students successfully completing the program also receive OSHA 10-hour safety training, first aid/CPR certification and a commercial driver's license.

The next pre-apprentice lineworker school runs Oct. 21–Dec. 18. Hours are 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on Calhoun's Decatur campus.

The program was structured with input from the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association Apprentice program, regional and statewide utilities, cooperatives and electric contractors, along with best practices from other lineworker training programs.

Today, 15 of the program's current students are set to compete in an annual rodeo competition and program competition event. Students will rotate through multiple stations and will be judged on technical and soft skills and a free-climb up a 75-foot pole using spikes, ropes and a safety harness.

“The events of the rodeo are both fast, technical and awe-inspiring to watch,” said Houston Blackwood, Calhoun’s interim director and project manager of Industrial Training. “This is one of the most exciting times of the program as parents and relatives come out to support the students and are able to see all of the many exciting things that they learn in just a short eight-week period.”

For more information about the program, email Blackwood at houston.blackwood@calhoun.edu or call 256-306-2664.