PEC first opened the doors to its Safety and Technical Training Center in July of 2020. Since then, a team of instructors has provided rigorous training to lineworkers across the cooperative. Together, they’re preparing today’s apprentices to become tomorrow’s journeyworkers, the most experienced and qualified lineworkers on staff. And by doing so, they’re strengthening reliability for the entire system to support PEC’s growing membership.
The training center, developed in partnership with the Northwest Lineman College, exposes lineworkers to real-world situations in the classroom to get them ready for the field. From climbing poles and repairing transformers, to working on energized equipment, they’re learning all the best practices in a controlled environment.
“We’ve assembled the best instructor team the co-op has to offer, and it’s available right here at home,” James Vasquez, manager of the program, said. “Crews are getting hands-on training for everything they need, so when it’s time to respond to an outage they can do it as quickly and safely as possible.”
PEC refitted its former Marble Falls district office to create the training center and keep it within the cooperative’s service territory. Localized training not only saves money, it makes it easier for apprentices because they can go home to their families after class. Keeping them home also helps increase the availability of lineworkers on hand to respond to outages.
While most of the nation is managing a shortage of lineworkers, PEC’s visionary thinking is keeping the cooperative ahead of the curve; enhancing reliability and saving money to provide the best possible service for members. The innovative model has drawn the interest of electric providers from across Texas who want to tour the facility and learn more. PEC is also working closely with local high schools to create a program that helps recruit the next generation of talent.
Vasquez said, “By signing on with us, they can train from the best, build a meaningful career, and serve their communities, right here at home. It’s an honor to be part of building something so special; we’re all certainly proud.”
Interested in becoming a lineworker? Learn more at jobs.pec.coop.