Five SGTC Electrical Lineworker students receive scholarships

Electrical Lineworker Scholarships Unmasked 3 2021

AMERICUS, Ga. — Five South Georgia Technical College Electrical Lineworker students were awarded South Georgia Technical College Foundation Scholarships recently. Owen Deal of Leesburg, GA; Witt Brown of Montezuma, GA; Mason Andrew Kirkpatrick of Cochran, GA; Garrett Earls of Macon, GA; and Justin Gabriel Densel of Salem, AL; received the Foundation’s Electrical Lineworker Scholarships based on their work ethics, academics, and overall class performance.

Deal received the Sumter EMC Scholarship, established and endowed by the Sumter EMC Foundation. Witt Brown earned the Chattahoochee Flint RESA Scholarship, and Earls was presented the Georgia EMC Foremen and Supervisors scholarship. Kirkpatrick was singled out for the Georgia Power scholarship and Densel received the Kyle Glenn Holcombe Electrical Lineworker Scholarship. The Kyle Glenn Holcombe Electrical Lineworker Scholarship was established and endowed by Georgia Transmission and Aubrey Silvey Enterprises in memory of Kyle Glenn Holcombe, a 23-year old electrical lineworker who was employed by Aubrey Silvey Enterprises in Carrollton, Georgia.

The Kyle Glenn Holcombe Memorial Scholarship was the first scholarship designated specifically to the SGTC Electrical Lineworker program.

Over 550 students have graduated from this eight-week program that has a 99% job placement rating. The median annual wage for electricians, line installers and repairers is between $50,000 and $60,000 per year.

All five students thanked South Georgia Technical College for the workforce training and the Foundation for helping them with their college expenses. “I am grateful to be a part of the electrical lineworker program at South Georgia Technical College and very excited to receive this scholarship,” said Gabriel Densel.

“Being from Alabama, I had the added dormitory and cafeteria expense. Also being from Alabama, I did not qualify for any of the grants that may have been available to the Georgia students. These scholarship funds are a tremendous help and I know that the valuable knowledge, skills, and abilities I am learning will help me become a successful electrical lineworker. I am very passionate about this field of work and see it as a long-term career and not just a job,” added Densel.

Mason Kirkpatrick of Cochran also thanked the college and Georgia Power for the scholarship. “My parents taught me to work hard and they set a good example by always working hard at their jobs. They have been supportive, but they also expect me to make good decisions about my future. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the lineman program and I truly believe this is where I need to be and that I will enjoy the work ahead of me. Thank you again for the scholarship opportunity.”

Witt Brown of Montezuma echoed Kirkpatrick’s sentiments about what he had learned at South Georgia Technical College. “I feel that I am very prepared to enter the industry thanks to South Georgia Technical College. I am very passionate about line work and grateful to South Georgia Technical College for the opportunity to take this class and to the Chattahoochee Flint RESA for offering this scholarship.”

Like Brown, Owen Deal was able to commute to South Georgia Tech, but that created expenses as well. “I drove 45 minutes each day to attend classes, but this has been a dream of mine to become a lineman. I am so appreciative that South Georgia Technical College has this program and that I was able to receive the Sumter EMC Foundation scholarship. It is helping me to move forward to the career I always wanted.”

Garrett Earls of Macon had been looking forward to enrolling in the South Georgia Technical College Electrical Lineworker program but was worried that he would not be able to attend after his mother returned to school at age 45 to pursue a more secure career. His grandparents helped him with the costs that he incurred at SGTC and he plans to pay them back from the Georgia EMC Foremen and Supervisors Scholarship funds.

“I am beyond grateful for this opportunity,” said Earls. “This is something that I have always wanted to do and I feel so fortunate to be able to attend South Georgia Technical College and have the opportunity to work as a lineman after graduation.”

South Georgia Technical College collaborated with power companies, electric cooperatives and others to initiate the Electrical Lineworker Program. There was a need by these companies to replace or 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, 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.

For more information about the Electrical Lineworker program at South Georgia Technical College or to apply for the next class, contact Tami Blount at 229-931-2040 or tblount@southgatech.edu.