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Get the power: Lineworker scholarship deadline near

HUNTSVILLE — If you see a need fill it, and that is the goal of a partnership between Huntsville Utilities, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Calhoun Community College.

The two utilities are each providing $50,000 toward scholarships at Calhoun to train and educate lineworkers. The deadline to apply for the scholarships is Monday. Click here to apply.

“We are excited about this initiative and the impact it will have on the need for lineworkers,” said Calhoun President Dr. Jimmy Hodges. “Our program provides the necessary skills and training desired by utility companies and contractors across North Alabama.

“In fact, most of our students have jobs waiting for them when they complete the program.”

The utilities are experiencing a chain reaction from unprecedented population growth. The partnership was created to address that growth, which has led to a demand for services, resulting in an increased need for utility lineworkers.

“We have an immediate need for lineworkers and we need to get them trained right away,” said Dr. Harry Hobbs, vice president for Employee Engagement at Huntsville Utilities. “Workforce development is a priority for Huntsville Utilities as we continue to grow.

“We are excited about this opportunity to provide a path for individuals in our service area to receive training that could lead to a career in the utility industry.”

The Calhoun Community College Foundation will manage the funds, the scholarship criteria, and the selection process.

TVA is the largest public power company in the United States, providing electricity to 153 power companies like Huntsville Utilities.

“TVA has over 16,000 miles of power lines that crisscross seven states, plus approximately 263,000 miles of lines that our 153 local power companies have,” said Jared Mitchem, vice president for TVA South Region. “As electricity demand grows, we need a skilled workforce to provide clean, low-cost, reliable power.

“Partnering with Huntsville Utilities and Calhoun Community College ensures that we can recruit and train the workforce we need as we build the energy system of the future.”

The training will take place at the Calhoun Lineworkers Pole Yard on the main campus in Decatur.

The Madison County Commission is providing a vehicle and a driver to transport students from Huntsville Utilities to the training site.

The scholarships are earmarked specifically for the Huntsville Utilities service area. Scholarship recipients will receive free tuition for the seven-week lineworker course and a daily gift card for lunch.

Upon graduation, students will also receive a tool bag equipped with basic lineworker tools.

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