lineman on poles
From left in the forefront are H.L. Ivey, MGCCC Electric Lineman instructor; Jerry Pittman, Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association mechanic; Raymond May, Safety coordinator/manager of Automotive Services for Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association; David Eubanks, MGCCC Electric Lineman instructor; Dr. Lisa Rhodes, administrative dean at the George County Center; Dr. Kady Pietz, associate vice president of Foundation and Alumni Relations; and Dr. Ladd Taylor, vice president of the Perkinston Campus and George County Center. In the background, on poles, are fall 2020 graduates of the Apprentice Electric Lineman (AEL) program at MGCCC’s George County Center. All of the fall 2020 graduates of the AEL program were placed in jobs after completing the program.

The Apprentice Electric Lineman (AEL) program at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s George County Center has strong ties to industry, providing 100 percent of its graduates in the fall 2020 class to be placed in jobs.

“Our students receive industry-driven training that prepares them well for entry level work in the utilities field,” said David Eubanks, program instructor. “Companies that have partnered with us for years regularly hire our graduates because they know they are ready to start work on day one.”

After graduating from the lineman program in December, Matthew Lee of Summit, was hired immediately by Magnolia Electric Power as an apprentice lineman.

“My instructors at MGCCC always helped me and made sure we all learned as much as possible during the 16-week program,” Lee said. “Not only did I learn about the trade, but also how to work safely as a team with my peers. I’m very thankful for this program and both my instructors – Mr. David Eubanks and H.L. Ivey”

Eubanks said that an advisory board made up of industry leaders helps decide the curriculum for the program.  “On top of the state and national standards we are required to meet, industry advisory companies help set the requirements for graduation,” he said. “We want to make sure our students are getting what they need to succeed in their careers.”

Apprentice Electric Lineman Advisory Council companies and their representatives meet with  college administrators and AEL instructors twice a year to discuss and determine many topics such as curriculum, safety, equipment updates and needs, and budget.  They include Singing River Electric Cooperative, Dixie Electric Power Association, Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association, South Mississippi Cooperative Energy, and Magnolia Electric Power.  These companies hire many of the program graduates and often provide equipment for use in training students.

The AEL program is a one-semester program that is held each fall. Students receive specialized instruction in certification areas required by the electrical power industry. Upon completion, students are prepared for an entry level position as an electrical power-line installer or repairer.

The curriculum focuses on basic safety, basic electricity, pole climbing and bucket truck operation, along with other basic skills needed for entry-level work in the utilities field.

For more information about the AEL program, contact the George County Center at (601) 766-6424.

lineman on pole
Matthew Lee, a 2020 graduate of the Apprentice Electric Lineman program at MGCCC’s George County Center, is on the job as an apprentice lineman for a local electric power company.

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