SGTC electrical lineworker students receive scholarships

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, June 20, 2018

AMERICUS — Four South Georgia Technical College electrical lineworker students were awarded South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Foundation Scholarships recently. Brice Adam Edmonson of Gray was awarded the Kyle Glenn Holcombe Electrical Lineworker Scholarship and then Tyler Jeffery Flowers of Coleman, Joshua Day of Hahira, and Clifford Duane Jones of Mitchell were awarded the General Electrical Lineworker Scholarships by the SGTC Foundation.
The Kyle Glenn Holcombe Electrical Lineworker scholarship was established by the Georgia Transmission Corporation and Aubrey Silvey Enterprises to provide assistance for tuition, tools, books, and equipment. The eight-week electrical lineworker course trains individuals to obtain entry-level employment with individual contractors, small businesses, regional utility companies, and corporation in the electrical lineworker field. This scholarship was endowed in memory of Kyle Glenn Holcombe, an extraordinary young man, died working as an electrical lineworker.
“It is an honor to accept the Kyle Glenn Holcombe Electrical Lineworker Scholarship,” said Brice Edmonson. “I have wanted to be a lineman like my granddaddy for as long as I can remember. The opportunity to attend the South Georgia Technical College lineworker program is a dream come true. I couldn’t wait to get started. The support that I received from the instructors was tremendous.
“Experienced lineworkers are the greatest teachers. They have a great way of getting their message across to the students. The experience of living on campus away from home was a first for me. It was a good reality check for myself, another lesson learned. As with Kyle, I too am blessed with a wonderful family who does everything they can to help me succeed in life. The opportunity to receive this scholarship aid is a tremendous blessing for me and my family. I am very thankful to for the support that you are giving others to share Kyle’s dreams and ambitions of becoming an electrical lineworker,” said Edmondson.
Jones, Day, and Flowers each received a general electrical lineworker scholarship that was funded through the SGTC Foundation in part by the Flint Energies Foundation and the Chattahoochee Flint RESA organization. All three thanked South Georgia Tech and the SGTC Foundation for helping them with their college expenses.
“For months before I initially entered into this program, I was in a constant panic about what degree I may want to pursue and was wondering what type of job I would enjoy. While in college elsewhere, I narrowed down all my options and still was not satisfied with them until discovering that South Georgia Technical College offered this course,” said Tyler Flowers.
“After transferring to South Georgia Tech and starting this program, I felt that I had finally found the career I’ve been seeking. This scholarship is great because if will help me pay for the rest of the program costs and get me on my feet in my new career. Thank you for this opportunity,” added Flowers.
Joshua Day felt the say way about the SGTC course. “I heard about this course and it seemed to be a great start in opening up a path to a successful career. I worked three jobs to save up enough money to be able to attend this program. I did not take a moment for granted in this course. I took every opportunity to gain knowledge to help me reach my career goals,” said Day. “It is an honor to be selected for this scholarship as a reward for my hard work and dedication.”
Cliff Jones quit a full-time job to attend college and fulfill his goal of starting a new career in the utility industry. “This scholarship is extremely helpful to me as I finish up this course. I know this is what I want to do and I am excited about being given this opportunity,” said Jones.
SGTC is one of two technical colleges in Georgia with on-campus housing. Students have the opportunity to enjoy the complete college experience while earning an associate degree, diploma, or technical certificate of credit. SGTC started the electrical lineworker program in 2005, in response to industry demands.
The college partnered with Georgia Power, Sumter Electric Membership Corporation, Crisp County Power Commission, Flint Energies, Albany Water Gas and Light, Georgia Transmissions and Alabama Power Company representatives to create the educational curriculum. Students in the electrical lineworker apprentice program undergo training in the classroom, on an actual skills field with electrical poles and platforms, earn a Commercial Truck Driving Class B License and then participate in observation-based on-the-job training.
In the classroom, students learn about the AC/DC electrical theory, field training, occupational safety, team work, line construction theory, line clearance, rigging, transformers, basic telecommunications, and utility metering. Approximately two-thirds of the program is devoted to strenuous hands-on skills allowing students to develop a high degree of proficiency in the electrical lineworking equipment and procedures. All SGTC electrical lineworker students earn a CDL Class A or B license as part of the program. To be employed as an electrical lineworker, students must be able to drive the bucket and digger trucks and trailers that carry the electrical poles.
Over 500 students have graduated from this program that has a 99 percent job placement rating. The median annual wage for electricians, line installers and repairers is between $50,000 and $60,000 per year.