HGTC Electrical Linemen Called to Serve
Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) alumni are among the many electrical linemen who jumped into action to help South Carolina and Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
“This has been an awesome experience for me so far,” said HGTC graduate William Gregory. “I am learning new things everyday and at every restoration. It is challenging working on a different system, but nothing can beat the smile you see on these people's faces when you are in their neighborhood restoring power! It is very heartwarming to help these people and I enjoy every minute of it.”
For Gregory and countless others, it’s not just a job, it’s a calling.
“Linemen have a heartfelt passion to help the community, whether it’s at home or hundreds of miles away,” said HGTC electrical lineman professor Scott Shoemaker. “They often leave their families for weeks at a time to help other communities in need.”
From the power plant, to the electric grid, right up to the meters on our homes, linemen build and maintain the system that keeps our nation running. Regardless of the source, electricity has to be transported by poles, power lines, trenches, transformers and other equipment, all of which are built by electrical linemen.
When storms like Hurricane Irma destroy what linemen have built, they are on called to restore utilities as quickly as possible. These men and women work tirelessly to get emergency systems back in working order and return service to customers.
Even in the absence of hurricanes, linemen work under dangerous conditions and extreme weather on a daily basis. Whether they are working in trenches, near water or on high towers and poles, the risks are extreme.
“Safety is the priority for both linemen and customers, and we train our students to always put safety first,” said Shoemaker. “Our students are well aware of the risks associated with this career when they enter our program, and I think that speaks volumes to the character of the individuals who choose this line of work.”
HGTC’s electrical lineman technician certificate is a one-semester program with a 98% job placement rate. The program prepares students both mentally and physically to have the knowledge, skills, techniques, and desire to enter a utility organization and launch a satisfying career in the utility industry. To learn more, visit hgtc.edu/lineman.