Neal Corwin
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Spotlight on the Line Trade: Neal Corwin of Utility Line Construction Services

May 15, 2020
Line work runs in the family for Neal Corwin, who also has a brother in the line trade.
  • Born in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, and has two brothers. •
  • Married to Crystal for nine years and has three children: seven-year-old Charlee, five-year-old Brooklyn and three-year-old Tynlee.
  • Enjoys hunting, fishing and riding horses.
  • Can’t live without his laptop and phone.

Early Years
I enjoy working outside with my hands and doing physical labor. I started out in the industry as an apprentice for High Line Construction, and then I topped out at Utility Lines Construction. I was in a bucket six months out of school working on the construction of distribution lines.

Day in the Life
As a general foreman, I oversee crews, line up work and do job visits. I make sure that the crews have everything they need and that they have enough work to do, and everything is safe. My days typically start at 6 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. We are a permanent contractor for ITC, and we work on smaller rebuilds that are about a mile long. We also focus on taking care of maintenance jobs and changing out poles.

Challenges and Rewards
The biggest reward is seeing all the work get done and keeping the guys happy. The most challenging aspect of my current position is that I’m not physically able to do the job, which is not easy.

Safety Lesson
From the get-go, safety is always number one. I had a buddy, who is working for another company, who is missing his arm below the elbow. It hit close to home. He was clipping in wire from a long-line helicopter, and the helicopter pilot dragged him through a three-phase distribution line he wasn’t working on. It makes you measure twice and cut once and do everything right the first time.

Memorable Storm
Back on April 10, 2014, we had an ice storm, and it knocked everything down — all of the transmission. I was a working lineman on the crew, and I worked with the other linemen to put a lot of poles up following that storm. It was cold outside, but it rained every single day, and we wore rainsuits. We took breaks to warm up when we were able to.

Family Ties
My family in the line trade; we are proud of one other. We worked together on the same crew, and my brother served as my foreman, and now I am his foreman.

Life in the Trade
I wish I would have gotten into the line trade sooner. I started out as a carpenter, and I found out that the money and insurance are better in this industry. Since my brother is a lineman, so I knew what I was getting into when I started in the trade. 

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