CROWLEY – Up to 50 South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) students soon may receive tuition assistance to become certified utility line workers due to an expansion of a program created by the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), its Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) and other affiliated utility employer partners.
The LWDBs in LWC Regions 4 and 5 – Acadiana and Lake Charles regions, respectively – have announced a customized training contract with SLEMCO, Cleco, Entergy, Lafayette Utilities System and SLCC for the Certified Power Line Worker Training Program, a workforce-development initiative that began as a response to an increasing need to recruit line workers across Louisiana. Region 4 consists of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion parishes. Region 5 is made up of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes.
“We are ecstatic about expanding our line-worker training initiative into the Acadiana and Lake Charles regions,” said LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “I am extremely proud of the line-worker program, as it embodies the LWC’s mission: ‘We put people to work.’ The utility line worker initiative not only provides meaningful pathways for family-sustaining careers within our state, but also meets a vital safety need within our communities, especially those most vulnerable during hurricane season.”
SLCC’s two program cohorts will train for 16-25 weeks at the college’s Acadian Campus in Crowley, located at 1933 W. Hutchinson Ave. Completers will earn National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) credentials, will be qualified to work as a line helper, and will receive job-placement assistance.
Developed in 2018, the line-worker training program has served 58 trainees in four (4) cohorts within two locations, including Fletcher Technical Community College in Schriever, La., and Delgado Community College in New Orleans.
The program has gained much attention and enrollment numbers have steadily increased, with a dollar-for-dollar investment of $300,000 from LWC and its service partners, prior to the SLCC addition, bringing the LWC/LWDB’s total estimated investment to $875,000, depending on SLCC program participation.
A product of LWC collaboration with the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) and the Louisiana Energy Workers Consortium (LEWC), the program was developed as a solution to a shortage of more than 550 line workers statewide due to retirement and promotion of current line workers. As a result, the Line Worker Technician Training Initiative was created as a recruiting and training pipeline to be implemented across Louisiana.
Past program graduates have been hired at salaries as high as $49,000, annual base pay with a benefits packages. All past Utility Line Worker Program graduates have received job placements in a wide range of cities and municipalities in South and Central Louisiana. Many participants received multiple job offers upon completion of the program. Program completers have the potential to become senior-level line workers within one (1) to six (6) years, earning an annual base-level salary of $57,000; senior-level crew leaders, after six (6) to eight (8) years, $79,000 annually; or line supervisors after eight (8) or more years, at annual base-level salary of $85,000 annually.
For details about today's informational session, call (337) 788-7526. For program information, visit Solacc.edu/corporatecollege, email email@example.com, or call (377) 521-9028.
About the Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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