Ozarks Technical Community College hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for its line worker training program today, Tuesday, July 17. The new degree program will debut this fall at the OTC Lebanon Center.
OTC’s line worker program will teach students how to operate, build and repair electrical grids. The hands-on courses will cover essential industry knowledge including utility-pole climbing techniques, introduction to live line procedures, rubber gloving, and transformer theory. Upon completion, students will earn an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Distribution Systems. The degree program can be completed in two years.
At the ribbon cutting event, OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon spoke to the college’s ability to meet the state’s workforce demands.
“This is another example of how OTC aligns its degrees and curriculum with community and industry needs,” he said. “This new program will fill a critical gap in our state’s workforce by training individuals to maintain our power grids and infrastructure.”
Before establishing the program, OTC officials surveyed dozens of electrical companies to gauge the need for more line worker training opportunities. Survey feedback showed a growing demand for more skilled workers statewide. As a result, college officials collaborated with several local companies to develop its line worker program curriculum and training facilities. Laclede Electric Cooperative donated the utility poles that were installed for training purposes at the OTC Lebanon Center.
“Communities thrive when their members have access to relevant training opportunities and lucrative jobs,” said Laclede Electric Cooperate CEO/General Manager Marc Roecker. “We are proud to partner with OTC as it trains the next generation of line workers, and we look forward to hiring its graduates in the near future.”