Salt River Project

Spotlight on the Line Trade: Cory Myers of Salt River Project

Dec. 20, 2018
Cory Myers is the 2018 Lineman's Rodeo World Champion Apprentice.

• Born in Flagstaff, Arizona, and raised in Phoenix. He is the youngest child in his family and has two older brothers and an older sister.
• Married to his wife, Nicole, and has a one-year-old daughter, Rogan.
• In the third year of his apprenticeship program at SRP.
• Enjoys spending time with his daughter, mountain biking, hiking, going to the shooting range and traveling with family.
• Can’t live without a hammer, pair of Kleins and a Lowell wrench.

Early Years
I was encouraged to enter the line trade by my distant cousins, who are retired linemen. The stepfather of my college roommate was also a lineman, and he talked about it all the time. After looking into it, I applied to Chandler Gilbert Community College for my pre-apprenticeship program. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Today, I work as an apprentice at Salt River Project, and my cousins are very excited for me. They love the trade too, and they are very happy for me as I progress in my career.

Day in the Life
My work day starts at about 5:30 a.m., we work a nine-hour day until 3:30 p.m. I work on a distribution improvement crew, and we are responsible for replacing a lot of the old cable in our neighborhoods and improving the system. We perform a lot of underground work and some overhead-to-underground conversions.

Safety Lesson
The biggest thing I’ve learned is just to take the time to do things right the first time. There is no need to rush anything in our line of work. You must doublecheck your work and take time to do the steps correctly or accidents can happen. I remember one time, a lineman dropped a big pole drill from 40 ft, and it missed a crew member on the ground by about a foot. It was a pretty close call.

Memorable Storm
In Arizona, we get monsoons once or twice a year. When you work on these storms, everything is chaotic with mixed crews working different shifts and materials all over the place. At the same time, however, you learn the most in these situations. For example, you discover how to work with different people and learn communication skills. Looking back, those were the special times in my career, and I really grew during those times.

Winning Top Honors
Last year was my first rodeo, and I placed 59th overall. I knew the second I left the rodeo that I wanted to start working and getting better. I made a game plan of how I was going to attack each event. I was excited to be able to compete again and have a chance to make some noise for our company. I was blown away by the new rejuvenation I had for my love and appreciation of the trade. Being out there with some of the best guys in the world, competing and doing what we love in a rade that we eat, sleep and breathe was really humbling.

I definitely plan to compete next year. It will be my last year as an apprentice, and the bar is set high. I’d like to go out and improve my overall time and possibly podium some of the other events. I’m excited but nervous because I saw how well the other apprentices did and how close they were. I know it’s going to be tough, but competition breeds success.

Life in the Line Trade
I really love the brotherhood. You’ve got a bunch of downto-earth guys out there suffering in 100-plus-degree weather together to get a job done. I like that we provide something tangible that improves people’s lives, that we go out and help people during storms and outages. Basically, though, I love that we get to play in the mud and drive big trucks.

Plans for the Future
Working as a lineman is basically a dream job for me. I love coming to working every day because it’s always something different. Every day is exciting. Looking to the future, I’d like to continue to stay in the
field as long as my body will let me. The camaraderie is special among the line crews. You can’t beat working outside. I enjoy being able to do something that improves people’s lives every day. I get a good satisfaction from the work we do.

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