Boyne City Students, GL Energy Work to Create Future Lineworkers

A new and first of its kind program started in Northern Michigan this fall.

Thanks to a partnership between Great Lakes Energy and Boyne City High School.

The program exposes students to the industry and shows them what it is like to be a lineman.

They hope to fill a recent shortage that’s coming up in the next several years.

In the next six years, it is estimated that 50 percent of linemen across the nation will be able to retire.

Assistant safety director at G.L. Energy, Jeremy Adcock, says the program will help fill the void of inexperience.

“With a four-year apprenticeship, it takes quite a while to be able to fill that gap to get their experience. So with this program, we’re allowing the students to get a jump start on going to college and getting into a line worker program with a utility or a contractor,” he says.

Students can now get valuable hands-on experience in the Energy Fundamentals Lineworker Program at Boyne City High School.

Ten students signed up this school year, training for two and a half hours a day, five days a week.

“We’re learning about transformers, how to hang them, how to take them down. We’ve learned how to take the wire off a pole and string wire back up,” says Boyne senior Tanner Tarsi.

Students like Tanner take pride in the hands-on experience of the program.

“I learn better when I’m using my hands and I’m not in the classroom. When you can actually use it, put it in your hands and make it work, it’s way better learning than in the classroom.”

An opportunity that could spark a new passion for students leading to a brighter future.

“What we want to do is see these guys in the years to come to be successful and be the leaders in the utilities here in Michigan,” says Adcock.

The training area was recently dedicated to Jim Farrington, a lineman who lost his life in October and strongly believed in the education of future lineman.