If you drive by CNM’s Rio Rancho campus this week you might see an odd site. Located on the campus are a series of electrical poles sticking 35 feet out of the ground. This week those poles will literally be crawling with electric lineworker apprentices and CNM students using them for valuable hands-on training.
The poles are on the CNM campus, but they were erected and maintained by the New Mexico Electric Utilities Supervisors’ Association, which uses them to train their apprentice lineworkers. Right now there are about 50 apprentices from co-ops across the state who are training.
Joining the apprentices are a group of nine CNM students currently in the college’s Lineworker Pre-Apprenticeship program. During this comprehensive 15-week certificate program, students learn about utility line maintenance and safety, dive into electrical theory, get hands-on installation and climbing experience, and earn their Class A Commercial Driver’s license (CDL). After graduation, many are hired by the same electric co-ops that have sent them to this week’s training.
The current students are in their third week of training and the next 15-week training begins June 27. Find out more and sign up here.