Stevie Salmon speaks with high school students about Victoria College’s Power Line Worker training during the recent “Women in Industry” event at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex.
Just two years ago, Stevie Salmon was waiting tables at a local Victoria restaurant. Seeking a new career and a bigger paycheck, Salmon decided to sign up for Victoria College’s Power Line Worker courses.
“It was the best decision I have made,” Salmon said.
After completing the three-level course in 2017, Salmon was employed by Victoria Electric Cooperative.
“I love it,” Salmon said. “I am super happy. It’s probably going to be my job for the rest of my life.”
Those interested in taking Victoria College’s Power Line Worker courses can attend information sessions on Tuesday, June 5 in Room 226 of the Industrial Training Center at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex, 7403 Lone Tree Road in Victoria. The first session will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A second session will follow from 6 to 7 p.m.
Information for potential students on course requirements, prerequisites, estimated fees and financial assistance will be available.
Victoria College is partnering with Victoria Electric Cooperative to offer Power Line Worker courses to meet a growing demand in the field.
Power Line Worker Level 1 classes will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, Aug. 27-Nov. 14. An additional four Saturdays of classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will be held at Victoria Electric Cooperative’s training site. Level 3 classes will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 28-Nov. 8.
“Each level is 16 weeks,” said VEC representative Brittany Marsh. “Victoria College is really wonderful about offering scholarships, and many of them cover the majority of the costs for the training.”
Salmon said she chose the course after considering other industrial opportunities.
“I was looking for something with stability, and that’s what brought me to this program,” Salmon said. “Oilfield jobs pay well, but once they’re gone, you get laid off. You can’t make any money or find any jobs. Electricity isn’t going anywhere. You won’t have to go out of state for work or be laid off.”
Salmon said she quickly learned to overcome the fear of climbing a pole.
“You can’t fall down from the pole if you use the equipment correctly,” Salmon said. “Once you get used to knowing you’re not going to fall, you get really comfortable. In Level 1, you pretty much do a lot of climbing, so you’ll know right away whether or not this is right for you.”
Salmon currently works with a crew to build lines for homes and businesses while serving a five-year apprenticeship.
“The benefit of getting into a trade like this is that it doesn’t require much schooling, if any,” Marsh told a group of high schools students. “Once you finish your apprenticeship, typically, all your friends are just finishing their education at a four-year university and just starting their careers.”
For more information, call (361) 485-6830 or email Mary.Pullin@VictoriaCollege.edu.