Lineman shortage could cause trouble - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lineman shortage could cause trouble

August 20, 2007

Albany-  A nationwide shortage of qualified linemen has Georgia's utilities companies competing for the workers who are available.

Water, Gas, and Light has lost seven linemen in the last year, some to retirement, some to other competing companies. Georgia Power recently experienced retirements and is advertising several positions. Part of the problem is to become a qualified lineman it takes years of schooling and experience.

"Typically depending on what program they go through six to ten years to be a qualified lineman, to be able to go on anyone's system and do high voltage work without supervision," said Jimmy Norman, WG&L Light Department Supervisor.

It's also one of the 10 most dangerous jobs. Georgia Power, MEAG, and Georgia EMC's have been working with the state's technical schools including South Georgia Technical College in Americus to encourage students to pursue careers.

Sixty percent of the workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next five to eight years.

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