Electric Companies Unite to Empower PRCC’s Utility Lineman Technology Program with $100,000 Donation

July 28, 2023

Representatives of Coast Electric, Cooperative Energy, Mississippi Power, and Pearl River Valley Electric came together with Pearl River Community College administrators to celebrate a new partnership. Collectively, the four electric companies donated a total of $100, 000 to the college for the Utility Lineman Technology Program.

Group of men and women holding large checks stand in two rows.

PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood welcomed the guests to campus and thanked them for their investment in the Utility Lineman Technology Program.

“Every day, we have calls about our Utility Lineman program,” said Breerwood. “Prospective students want to be involved as it is an opportunity to get a good paying job with a great company. Most importantly, they can stay in the surrounding areas.”

Breerwood provided a glimpse at plans for the Poplarville Campus to bolster existing facilities for Career and Technical Education programs, including Utility Lineman Technology.

“We are so grateful to our energy partners for their continued support of our UTL program,” said Utility Lineman Technology Instructor Tyler Davis. “One of my goals as the instructor for our program is to build solid partnerships where we discuss and address both program and industry needs and opportunities.

“This money will help build a better classroom and training facility that will allow us to accept a larger number of students into our program, and thus, help to meet the growing utility lineman workforce needs.”

The Utility Lineman Technology program is offered exclusively on the Poplarville Campus. It prepares individuals for jobs in utility power transmission and distribution construction, troubleshooting, and repair of electrical power lines.

“We’ve had a great partnership with PRCC over the years,” said Meg Payment, Area Manager for Mississippi Power. “Supporting the Lineman program financially is an investment to develop the future workforce.”

Mississippi Power representatives stand with Dr. Adam Breerwood with a large check for $50,000 to support the Lineman Program.

The admission process for this program is competitive, requiring a secondary application and additional documentation for consideration. Students must have the physical ability and stamina for tasks such as pole climbing and overhead construction. They also must procure a Mississippi Class A Commercial Driver’s Permit (or License) prior to admission to the program.

“We have partnered with PRCC many times over the years including donating a digger truck this past year,” said Pearl River Valley Electric CEO/General Manager Matthew Ware. “We know the resource PRCC has with the Lineman program and are happy to financially support it as they train the next generation of lineman.”

Cooperative Energy, Coast Electric, and Pearl River Valley Electric representatives stand with Dr. Adam Breerwood with a $50,000 check for the PRCC Lineman Program.

According to the Mississippi Department of Economic Security, graduates of the lineman program at Pearl River can anticipate earning an average of $26 per hour in the Hattiesburg area.

“It is really good for all of the electric companies to make sure we have a quality program in the area,” said Coast Electric Director of Energy Management Mark Wallace.

More information on the Utility Lineman Technology program can be found at https://prcc.edu/academics/career-technical-education/indman/utility-lineman-technology/.

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit PRCC.edu and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), Facebook (@PRCCMKTG), and TikTok (@prcc_wildcats).

Article by Laura O’Neill. Photography by Jacob Cochran.

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