26 Oct The Apprenticeship Advantage at PLH Group
PLH Group is always on the lookout for talented and dedicated employees. People who love what they do and are ambitious about furthering their careers. PLH Group is also committed to helping these individuals reach their goals, which is why for the sixth consecutive year in a row, they will be continuing their partnership with Northwest Lineman College (NLC) in an effort to recruit candidates for National Apprenticeship Week. This event will take place at the NLC’s Denton, Texas campus during the week of November 13 – 17, 2017.
The electric power industry is an $800 billion a year business, one that provides the vital service of keeping us alive and connected. Currently, in the US there are over 500,000 people who have jobs in the electric power sector, 119,000 of which are electrical lineworkers. To keep up with the demands of this growing industry, 6,000 positions in the electrical field will need to be filled each year.
Recognizing this need, the Apprenticeship Program was developed in 2011 by the PLH Group Safety department in conjunction with Northwest Linemen College. Since 2012, PLH Group has graduated 46 apprentices, each of whom have gone on to successfully achieve the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Journeyman certification required to work in electric transmission, distribution and substation careers.
The requirements to earn the certification of Journeyman take an average of four years to complete, and include 144 hours of classroom training per year at the NLC campus in Denton, Texas, and 2,000 hours of documented on-the-job training in specific tasks per year. Workers with advanced knowledge and experience may test into a higher level, reducing the coursework requirement.
Mastery is required in areas such as safety, pole climbing, elevated work, electric transmission, transformers, hot line work, power delivery equipment and crew leadership. In keeping with PLH Group core values, safety always comes first in the apprenticeship program!
At Northwest Lineman College, the career outlook for someone who completes the 15-week electrical lineman program includes a field placement rate 79%, with an average salary of $65,930 per year.
However, a PLH Group employee who participates in the apprenticeship program gains a double advantage in their career outlook. First, they can look forward to an advanced position with higher pay. And second, there are no worries about footing the bill for tuition or large student loans.
PLH group works closely with the Texas Department of Labor and the Texas Workforce Commission in developing the workforce in the state of Texas, and was also recognized on a national level for their outstanding commitment to the labor force by the White House.
Kathy Williamson, the Apprenticeship Program Manager at PLH Group, says the program is an excellent resource for those who are ambitious and envision a long-term career in the electric construction and maintenance field. She also adds, “jobs in the electrical industry are critical to our nation’s infrastructure, and are one’s that can’t be outsourced, so the prospects for placement and advancement are high.” She encourages individuals who are passionate about furthering their careers in power line construction to learn more about the apprenticeship program.
Currently, the apprenticeship program is available to employees of Air2, Power Line Services, Tessco Energy and Sun Electric, and the hope is to expand it into other PLH Group companies in the future.