Scholarship designed for those seeking a career in electric utility operations
Adding to the cooperative’s mix of scholarships, the La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Board of Directors has approved the new La Plata Electric Lineman Scholarship. Applications will be available Monday, April 3, and due by Friday, April 28, 2017 - for use in the upcoming academic year.
“We want to support our next generation of Linemen,” said Justin Talbot, LPEA manager of operations and a Journeyman Lineman. “There are more than 900 rural electric cooperatives across the country that need these skilled individuals, not to mention the investor-owned and municipal utilities. Linemen are in great demand, and we want to make it easier for these individuals to pursue this specialized career.”
Linemen are responsible for building, maintaining and repairing the electric infrastructure, and the job involves climbing utility poles and working high atop bucket trucks, and also engaging "live" electrical lines. Linemen have been compared to the military’s Special Forces – highly skilled and trained and on the front lines when issues occur on LPEA’s system.
The La Plata Electric Lineman Scholarship will fund two annual scholarships covering tuition, fees and books, not to exceed $12,000 for each scholarship for up to one year at an accredited institution, including a vocational school, technical school, junior college or university in the United States, majoring in an electric line worker program. Any scholarship overage, following payment of tuition and fees, can be applied to purchase of tools and supplies.
“This is a great opportunity since at hotline school, students must provide their own tools, which can be a costly proposition for aspiring linemen,” said Talbot.
Eligible applicants must be high school graduates from within LPEA’s service territory.
Funds for all of LPEA’s scholarships come from the cooperative’s Unclaimed Capital Credits. Each year, LPEA endeavors to find “missing” members who are due a share of retired Capital Credits. Those funds unable to be returned to members are then put back into the community – in this case, into scholarships.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.