Two South Georgia Technical College students receive Georgia Power Electrical Lineworker scholarships

Published 2:07 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

From Staff Reports

AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College Electrical Lineworker students Murray Somers of Calhoun, GA and Cordarius Jackson of Louisville, GA were awarded Georgia Power Electrical Lineworker Scholarships recently. The scholarships were awarded based on work ethics, academics, and overall class performance.

South Georgia Technical College Electrical Lineworker instructors as well as Electrical Lineworker students were on hand when South Georgia Technical College Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird made the presentation to the students.

“We would like to thank Georgia Power Company for their support of South Georgia Technical College students and for their support of the SGTC Foundation,” said SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and SGTC Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird.  “Georgia Power’s support of our students, the foundation and college is very important.  Georgia Power is helping students and the college ‘celebrate success’ with these scholarship opportunities.  We appreciate what you have done in the past and continue to do for the college, the faculty, staff, and most importantly, our students.”

Both students thanked South Georgia Technical College for offering the Electrical Lineworker program and Georgia Power for initiating the scholarship.  “I am 19 years old and I enrolled in the South Georgia Technical College Electrical Lineworker program in search of a better life for me and my future family,” said Murray Somers. “I would like to thank Georgia Power for providing this scholarship opportunity and for their support of this program.”

Cordarius Jackson also was grateful to Georgia Power and the SGTC Foundation for the scholarship opportunity.  “After years of encouraging other people to attend college, I decided to take my own advice and enroll in the Electrical Lineworker program at South Georgia Tech.  To be honest, this is the route I wanted to take after high school but for various reasons, I delayed my dream.  This scholarship helped that dream become reality.”

Jackson added that “after having my first child last year, I realized I really needed to focus on a career so that I can give my daughter the life that she deserves.  I want to be someone that she can look up to and be proud of.”

When asked why he chose to enroll in the SGTC Electrical Lineworker program, Somers said, “The financial stability that can come from being a lineman got me interested but I enjoy the work.  I also needed to put myself in a better environment.

“Growing up, my friends and I were always poor and never were given what we didn’t work for.  Looking back, this was a very valuable lesson because I learned to earn my own money and take care of myself.  When I decided to come to South Georgia Tech, I knew I would be on my own financially so I worked overtime as much as possible to cover the cost of this training.  This scholarship has really helped.”

South Georgia Technical College partnered with power companies, electric cooperatives and others to initiate the Electrical Lineworker Program in 2005.  There was a need by these companies to replenish retiring workers.  Students in the Electrical Lineworker Apprentice program undergo training in the classroom, on an actual skills field with electrical poles and platforms, and then participate in observation-based on-the-job training.  They can also earn a Commercial Truck Driving Class B license at South Georgia Tech.

In the classroom, students learn about the AC/DC electrical theory, field training, occupational safety, teamwork, 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 have the opportunity to earn a CDL Class A or B license.  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.