POPLARVILLE – Coast Electric Power Association today donated 11 transformers to the utility lineman technology program at Pearl River Community College.Theyre all used transformers that we were going to be disposing of, said Rodney Beech, CEPA training coordinator. Theyre in good enough shape the college can use them for training. For training purposes, theyre marvelous.New transformers cost $600 to $1,000 each, depending on size, said PRCC instructor Randy Henry. He estimates the donation from CEPA is worth $8,000.Were going to build an outdoor transformer banking lab, he said.Transformers are used to increase or decrease the voltage transmitted on a power line. The lab will give students hands-on experience in installing and wiring transformers, he said.Three students in PRCC commercial truck driving program, accompanied by instructor David Clark, transported the transformers to the Poplarville campus.PRCC started the utility lineman technology program in 2008 with the help of CEPA, Chain Electric Co., South Mississippi and Pearl River electric power associations, Mississippi Power Co., Entergy and the Mississippi Community College Board. Representatives of each entity continue to serve on the program advisory board.All of our partners have really stepped forward and donated stuff, Henry said.Fifteen students are currently enrolled in the program which can be tailored to lead to a two-year associate in applied science degree or a one-year certificate of proficiency.Were very happy to be a partner with Pearl River Community College, Beech said. Weve hired several students who are now linemen with us.
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