Electric Lineman
Jim Babson

Jim Babson

Videos to Promote Lineman Program

Rocky Mount Telegram

Nash Community College was the site of documentary filming Thursday as representatives from US Careers Online filmed the college’s lineman program in action.

NCC has offered its Electric Line Construction Technology program for about 13 years, but the program has changed over the years as the demand for workers in the field has changed.

“We revamped the program about three years ago based on industry recommendations and included new elements such as a CDL training and OSHA 10 certification,” said Jon O’Boyle, one of the instructors in the program.

The Electric Line Construction Technology program, or lineman training as it is commonly called, seems to be one of the best-kept career secrets. With a semester’s training, students can emerge from the program to make over $15 an hour at entry level and earn over $60,000 a year with experience. However, few high school students seem to know that such a lucrative career exists or that training is offered in Nash County.

Jim Babson, founder of US Careers Online, and Kim Brame, his videographer, hope to change all that.

“Most of the people we talked to today about this lineman program heard about it through family members who were in the business,” Brame said. “We are hoping that the videos we are producing will help students learn more about this career, the financial rewards of the career and the training required for it.”

Babson said the company is working on a series of videos highlighting different lucrative careers that do not require a college degree.

“It is important for students to have this knowledge as they decide what to do with their lives,” Babson said. “The videos provide this information in a format they can relate to.”

Babson said the videos are being sponsored by companies that are looking to recruit more employees in these necessary but often over-looked fields. For instance, Pike Electric, a company that constructs and repairs power lines, is sponsoring the lineman video.

However, this project also is being developed with the cooperation with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, which plans to help distribute the videos to North Carolina schools and on its website. Babson said he is impressed with new N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, who he said is fully behind the effort.

When Johnson spoke to local Republicans at a meeting in March at NCC, he cited the lineman program as an example of vocational training that reaps good financial rewards for students.

Bebe Wall, who serves as a recruiter for the lineman program, said the videos should make her job easier.

“I speak to local school groups often during the school year letting them know about this program,” Wall said. “These videos will really help students learn about this career.”

The videos should be ready for distribution within a few weeks, Brame said. For more information about the videos or other career videos produced by US Careers Online, go to http://uscareersonline.com.

By AMELIA HARPER  – Staff Writer

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