POPLARVILLE – A television production crew recently spent several hours on the Pearl River Community College campus videotaping students in the utility lineman technology program.The footage will be used in a segment of The Job Hunter on the Mississippi Public Broadcasting .The show, to be aired next year, will focus on careers in the energy field, said senior producer/director Katie Savage.In addition to letting young people know there are careers, the show also lets them know how to train for those jobs and that where Pearl River comes in, she said.PRCC started the program in 2007 based on the recommendations of an advisory board made up of Coast , Pearl River and South Mississippi Electric Power Associations; Mississippi Power Co., Chain Electric Co., Entergy and the Mississippi Community College Board. The partners have donated money, equipment and supplies to the program and, initially, loaned employees as instructors.PRCC received a three-year grant of $450,000 from the National Science Foundation in 2008 for the program.The National Science Foundation recognized the unique partnership we have with these companies and gave us the grant, said Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, PRCC vice president for economic and community development. Companies like Chain Electric, Coast Electric, Mississippi Power, have matched that. Their investment is over $800,000.The program serves three types of students – experienced employees of utilities or contractors, new employees with no training and traditional students. They can earn an associate degree or a certificate of proficiency.The MPBS crew shot footage of the students climbing poles, working from a bucket truck and operating a digger derrick and interviewed Alsobrooks and instructor Randy Henry.
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