South Louisiana Community College will hold a special information session at 4-6 p.m. Thursday at the Ardoin building at the Lafayette campus, 1101 Bertrand Drive, for anyone interested in becoming a power lineman.

The Certified Power Lineman program, which was started in 2018 in partnership with CLECO, SLEMCO, LUS and Entergy, is a 16-25 week program that allows graduates to get their certification to be a line helper and also get job placement assistance. The event will teach about how to enroll, what the program entails, tuition assistance and will have local utility companies in attendance to speak about career options.

"We are excited to be able to offer this one-stop shop for interested individuals in our community,” said Charlotte Leleux, program lead for the CDL and Power Lineman programs at SLCC, “This training is a life changing opportunity that has the potential to result in 5-star employment."

Line helpers and apprentices can expect to make $33,000-per-year starting pay. The next level of line worker can be achieved in one to six years and usually sees around $57,000 per year. According to Christine Payton, communications and marketing director for SLCC, approximately 40-50 percent of their industry partners' workforce is preparing to retire after over 30 years in their field and they do not have a qualified workforce to replace them.

The program is taught at SLCC's Acadian Campus in Crowley.

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Email Dan Boudreaux at dboudreaux@theadvocate.com.