A group of some 30 electrical lineworkers from five utilities, including Great Lakes Energy and Consumers Energy, and apprentice lineworkers volunteered their time on Saturday Nov. 3 to complete construction of a training area near Boyne City for high school students interested in pursuing their profession.
The training area will serve local high school students enrolled in the new Energy Fundamentals: Lineworker Program started this fall for students in the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District. The two-hour daily class offered for one school year is taught by two Great Lakes Energy lineworkers at Boyne City High School. The inaugural class has 10 students from Boyne City, Boyne Falls and East Jordan school districts.
Students learn in the training area how to safely climb utility poles and work high off the ground building and maintaining power lines. It is named in memory of James (Jim) Farrington, a Consumers Energy lineworker who recently lost his life on the job.
“Jim was committed to training apprentices over his nearly two decades of line work with Lansing Board of Water and Light, Traverse City Light and Power, and most recently with Consumers Energy,” explains friend Jeremy Adcock, GLE’s Assistant Director of Loss Control and Training.
The new pre-apprenticeship program was created through a joint effort involving Boyne City High School, the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District, Great Lakes Energy, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy. It offers high school students the opportunity to learn about high demand careers in the energy industry by enrolling in a course that provides instruction in the classroom and in the field.
High school juniors and seniors within the Char-Em intermediate school district who would like to know more about the program should contact Karen Jarema, Boyne City High School principal, 231-439-8130.