FAIRFIELD, Maine. (Mainbiz) – Thirteen graduates from Kennebec Valley Community College will join Central Maine Power as apprentices this month.
The new graduates recently completed the Electrical Lineworker Technology program located on the college’s Hinckley campus, according to a June 10 news release.
Since the program started in 1990, more than 570 students have graduated.
The program is funded in part by CMP and the Avangrid Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization that funds philanthropic investments where Avangrid and its subsidiaries operate. Avangrid is CMP’s parent company.
“The program is a win-win for CMP and the graduates,” Doug Herling, president and CEO of CMP, said in the release. “CMP is able to recruit employees from a training and education program specifically designed to meet the future workforce needs of America’s utilities, and the graduates come in the door with a full grasp of the work demands.”
“Partnerships with employers such as CMP are key to ensuring the best preparation for our graduates to meet Maine’s workforce and economy needs,” KVCC President Richard Hopper said in the release. “These jobs bridge students from the high-quality, relevant, affordable, hands-on training received at KVCC to well-paying professions in electrical line work.”
The 13 new apprentices will work across CMP’s service area. The start date of one new employee will be postponed to allow him to fulfill deployment obligations with the U.S. Marine Corps.
The graduates are part of a staffing plan formalized earlier this year by a new agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which will add 51 new lineworkers to CMP field operations by 2024.
The one-year certificate program covers subjects including electrical theory, line construction theory, rigging, tree-trimming and line clearance, transformers and utility metering. Graduates report that 91% of them are employed within six months and earn an average of $61,000 a year. The Avangrid Foundation has supported the program with a grant of $250,000 for capital improvements over the past five years, and with CMP has provided equipment, poles, trucks and student scholarships.
In April, Hopper told Mainebiz that KVCC continues to launch classes aimed at meeting workforce shortages in Maine.
Some of the newest ones are in basic carpentry, pipe welding and commercial driving.
“We hope to stimulate demand and help the public understand they can come to us and get the training they need,” he said.
KVCC offers both credit-bearing degree and certificate programs; both are eligible for financial aid. It offers shorter, non-credit continuing businesses and industry training that’s focused on building skills in the existing workforce. And it often pulls together customized training programs for individual companies.