Teaching future lineworkers

Southwestern Electric Cooperative lineworker Adam Simmonds teaches apprentices in the Illinois Rural Electric Apprentice Program during first-year distribution school.
Myron Johnson, a line school instructor, shows LLCC student Nolan Ernst proper techniques.

The fall semester of line school is underway in Springfield. The Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ (AIEC’s) safety department facilitates the electrical distribution lineman program at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC). Through the LLCC program and the Illinois Rural Electric Apprentice Program (IREAP), students and cooperative employees receive valuable education to do the job accurately and safely.

Cooperative and municipal employees attend the IREAP program to obtain the skills necessary to achieve journeyman lineworker status. The LLCC program trains students to become lineworkers and attendees can obtain an associate degree, if desired.

Fall line schools began mid-September with a two-week climbing school. It included hands-on training for proper utility pole climbing techniques, becoming familiar with linework tools and practicing pole-top rescue.

Throughout October, students and apprentices received hands-on training in in first- and second-year distribution, advanced distribution, and rubber gloving. The courses conclude with underground residential distribution in November. 

Courses are taught by AIEC staff as well as retired and current lineworkers from across the state. For more information, go to aiec.coop/departments/safety-and-training. 


ABOVE: LLCC students Jaron Hayes and Jack Ozyurt learn tips of the trade from Matt Clark, an AIEC safety instructor. The shortened poles allow students to practice on a pole while instructors observe and correct.