Today in Mississippi
Holmes Community College and Yazoo Valley Electric celebrate 10-year affiliation
Students learn to climb poles, earn a Class A commercial driver’s license, learn to operate heavy machinery and learn first aid and CPR skills.
By Elissa Fulton One of the most important qualities to look for when hiring linemen is attention to detail and employees who know the importance of safety – not only for themselves, but for those around them. In order to provide young people with the tools to have a successful career in line work, Yazoo Valley has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Workforce Development Training Program for linemen at Holmes Community College in Goodman. This year marks the 10-year anniversary for the successful program. Instructors Clarence “Mac” McBride and Lamar Dumas are currently training the 21st class. The 16-week program offers students with fundametnal hands-on training. While enrolled, they earn a Class A commercial driver’s license, knowledge of the Electric Safety Code, Occupational Safety Lamar Dumas and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and rules pertaining to the different types of utility providers they could potentially find employment with. They also learn how to operate heavy machinery used in line work, first aid and CPR training and pole climbing skills. “The 16-week course is equivalent to about 18-months of on the job training,” Clarence “Mac’ McBride said McBride, head instructor at the lineman school. “It’s a big advantage for employers because these students know many of the basics and can step right on in the job and take off. It’s a really rewarding career, and if I had to do it all over again, I believe I’d try it.” McBride came to the program after a 38-year career with Entergy Mississippi Earl Sysco until retiring in 2008. He teaches two classes per year through the college along with Dumas who retired in 2011 from Natchez Trace Electric Power Association after 32 years of service. Together they teach the students every aspect line work.
Above: The 2018 Fall class is the 21st class to be taught by instructors Clarence McBride and Lamar Dumas. The program is 16-weeks of intense training that prepare the students to go into a career of electrical line work.
“Many of the students that we get here, this is kind of the last chance to find a decent quality job. Because some of them have been the academic route and didn’t adjust, and they come here, they like the outdoors and many of them find what they like. I’m really glad Lef they have this workforce program set up of t for these guys,” said Dumas. The program accepts only 14 students per extremely competive entry process. Earl Sysco nator and works part-time at the school. He a process for the students that attend each seme “We advertise an informational meeting in before the start of each semester. Yazoo Valley to talk to the students and we tell them about aspects of a career in line work. We explain to that it’s a career, not just a job,” said Sysco. “ application, and then they must bring that ba high school transcipts, physicals and their CD lengthy process. Then we interview them. We dents for this class of 14. If you start with goo good employees to come out of the program.” About half of the linemen at Yazoo Valley ed the lineman program at Holmes, including Hunter Vandevere. He was in the first class th “This program has come a long way from These students have more to work with,” said into the workforce more prepared, but there w out of the program. Some couldn’t climb pol of heights. Some people just aren’t comfortab you learn the basics of the job here and know
For more information about Holmes Community College Workforce Development contact Mandy Clayton Burre