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Calhoun to manage scholarships for Huntsville Utilities and TVA addressing lineworker shortage

A partnership with Huntsville Utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will provide $100,000 in scholarship funding to train and educate utility lineworkers. Calhoun Community College will manage the scholarships and enroll students in the college’s Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Program. The partnership was created to address the growth in the Huntsville-Madison County population, which 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.

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. As electricity demand grows, we need a skilled workforce to provide clean, low-cost, reliable power,” said Jared Mitchem, Regional Vice President for TVA South Region. “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.”

Huntsville Utilities and TVA will contribute $50,000 each to the scholarship. 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. The Calhoun Community College Foundation will manage the funds, the scholarship criteria, and the selection process.

“We are excited about this initiative and the impact it will have on the need for lineworkers,” said Calhoun Community College 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 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 free tool bag equipped with basic lineworker tools. Calhoun will take applications for the scholarships starting today, May 23rd through Monday, May 29th 2023. Applicants are expected to have no aversion to heights and to possess adequate upper body strength required for successful completion of the program.

To register for this program, visit https://forms.gle/viTi4J98cPK8y3Yi7. For additional information, contact Jillian Christensen at 256-306-2928.

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