Outside Line Training Center Sees Big Growth
June 3, 2014
Billions of dollars of new transmission work is coming to the Midwest and Great Plains, making outside line construction one of the hottest job fields in the country.
The Missouri Valley Line Training Center in Indianola, Iowa, is leading the way in training the outside line workforce of the future. The center is seeing major growth in the number of enrollees as the job market keeps expanding for line construction.
Kansas City, Mo., Local 53 Robert Stuart, who serves as a trustee of the center, said he’s seen enrollment go from a low of 300 apprentices in 2008 to approximately 650 today.
“It’s a very good trade to go into and the public is seeing that,” he said.
As WOI-DT in Des Moines reports:
“The program has grown so quickly in the last four years they say they need extra training dollars.”
The center is requesting training money from Gov. Terry Branstad to help expand its facilities.
The Missouri Valley training center covers seven states, from the Dakotas and Minnesota down through Missouri and Kansas.
The school is operated by a labor-management partnership that included the IBEW and outside line contractors.
Like all IBEW apprentice programs, students earn while they learn, combing classroom and on-the-job training.
“In college you’ve got to pay to learn and get into all kinds of debt,” apprentice Fred Fellens told WOI-DT.
Check the station’s report here.