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Butte lineman program looks to produce more skilled workers

Posted at 11:06 AM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 13:14:11-04

BUTTE - Do you like working with your hands and you’re not afraid of heights?

Well, maybe being a lineman is the profession for you.

At Highlands College in Butte, they’re training people for the job and it’s important, especially in a market that’s hungry for skilled laborers.

“I didn’t even think I was scared of heights until I got on the 40-footers, and, you know, you just get over it, and up on the 80-foot, it’s called the H-structure, it’s about 80 feet, and you’re standing up there, it’s not even windy down here, but up there it’s swaying back and forth, it’s pretty wild, it’s fun though,” said Highland College student Luke Harding.

Highlands College unveiled a new sign highlighting its Lineman Pre-Apprentice Program.

The program is partnered with Northwestern Energy which needs linemen who are responsible for the installation and repair of power lines.

“We get applicants hitting our job boards ready to go. We’re able to get them on to our crews working with them directly based on the knowledge and experience they’re gaining here at Highlands college,” said Northwestern Energy representative Dean Bentley.

Students receive weeks of extensive hands-on training making them practically work-ready when they get an apprenticeship. Linemen can make a good living.

“You can go anywhere in the United States, even outside the United State, you can see the world having fun doing it building powerlines,” said Instructor Dale Kingrey.

The Lineman Pre-Apprentice Program takes both technical, and physical skills to do the job.