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March 15, 2019

CMP, On Target pole donations help KVCC lineworker program

Courtesy / Avangrid
Courtesy / Avangrid
CMP employees unload utility poles for use in the Electrical Lineworker Technology worker program at KVCC in Hinckley.

The Kennebec Valley Community College Electrical Lineworker Technology program got a boost recently when Central Maine Power and On Target Utility Services donated 27 utility poles for training future workers.

The poles are going up at the Harold Alfond Campus in the Hinckley section of Fairfield, and Coutts, a Randolph electrical line construction company also moved two 100-foot poles from the KVCC main campus in Fairfield to the Hinckley campus.

The poles play a critical role in the one-year certificate program, which is two-thirds hands-on training, and can be hard to get, according to a news release.

Unique materials are required for such programs, said Karen Normandin, KVCC VP of student affairs, public relations and enrollment planning. "Utility poles are among the most challenging materials to source and deliver, demonstrating why these private partnerships are so valuable to the college and our students."

Richard Hopper, president of KVCC, said in the release that the impact of the partnerships with Central Maine Power, On Target Utility Services and Coutts, are key to ensuring KVCC graduates are qualified to enter the "demanding profession of electrical line work."

He said the partnerships help students "receive high-quality, relevant, affordable, hands-on training to meet the changing needs of Maine's workforce and economy."

The companies, too, have said that the program helps fill a workforce gap for line workers.

On Target Utility Services finds the program "an invaluable source of skilled talent," said Rita Bilodeau, its vice president. "We are eager to provide the tools of the trade that the students and college need to continually improve education and training.

"With well-trained employees, On Target Utility Services offers customers such as CMP diversity, quality and value in the contracting services we provide," she said.

Doug Herling, president and CEO of CMP, said the company is "uniquely suited" to support the program and its material needs.

"We have the poles, the trucks and the industry relationships to get KVCC what they need," he said. "We have a long-term relationship with KVCC and the ELT program that benefits the students, Maine electric customers and CMP's recruiting needs."

Avangrid, parent company of Central Maine Power, contributed $250,000 toward the $1.39 million renovation of KVCC's Nutter Field House, which was outfitted as a training center for electric line workers and opened in October.

Many of the bucket trucks, poles, and other equipment used in the program came to the college as donations from Central Maine Power, the Avangrid Foundation, On Target Utility Services, and Coutts.

More than 570 students have completed the KVCC ELT program since its inception in 1990. Following graduation, 91.3% are employed within six months, an average salary of $60,908.

The one-year certificate program provides students with the technical background and the applied skills needed to install and maintain electrical power, telephone, internet and cable television infrastructure. Approximately two-thirds of the program is devoted to development of hands-on skills and exposure to the strenuous tasks faced by electrical lineworkers, allowing students to develop a high degree of proficiency in the use of electrical line working equipment and procedures, the release said.

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