Nlad+2023+650x366+1 Mid

National Lineworker Appreciation Day Illuminates the People Behind the Power

April 14, 2023
April 18 recognizes the women and men who power the lives of millions of people across the country.

For lineworkers, weathering the storm is just another day on the job. On April 18, Duke Energy Florida celebrates National Lineworker Appreciation Day – an acknowledgment of the challenging work of utility lineworkers nationwide who are committed to building the grid of the future and keeping the lights on.

Line teams support daily customer needs as well as special projects that will help the company deliver on its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Duke Energy Florida is lighting the way to a cleaner, smarter energy future – expanding renewables, strengthening the grid and cutting emissions without compromising reliability. Grid resiliency work includes replacing wooden poles with steel poles, replacing lines and implementing smart technologies across the grid.

Florida line teams are crucial to keeping power flowing to the state’s critical infrastructure such as hospitals and water treatment facilities, and to everyday home conveniences – while always keeping safety top of mind.

“Our line teams go toward the storm, when most people are going the opposite direction,” said Barry Anderson, Duke Energy senior vice president for customer delivery in Florida. “These teams work through heat, wind, lightning and high-stress situations to keep our customers’ lights on, our state’s infrastructure powered, and they’re always ready to respond quickly when needed.”

Battling Storms, Building the Future
Ten years after the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in 2013 designating April 18 as National Lineworker Appreciation Day, the role of lineworkers is more important than ever before – in maintaining and growing energy infrastructure, protecting public safety and making sure communities have power.

 As severe weather has escalated in frequency and intensity, line technicians serve an increasingly essential role in maintaining reliable service every day, improving resiliency to restore service faster, and enabling cleaner energy options and a lower carbon future for customers.

 When Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida as the fifth-strongest hurricane on record, Duke Energy lineworkers were some of the first to answer the call, working alongside first responders to restore power to nearly 2 million outages in Florida and the Carolinas within 72 hours.

The more than 7,700 Duke Energy and contract lineworkers who make up the Duke Energy line team are responsible for constructing, operating and maintaining equipment and more than 300,000 miles of power lines in Duke Energy's service territories – enough to circle the Earth 12 times.

A Sky-High Career
As Duke Energy continues to launch new grid and infrastructure improvement projects to modernize, harden and technologically advance the power grid, the need for skilled workers – especially entry-level lineworkers – is also on the upswing. Lineworkers play an integral role in a more efficient, more reliable digital grid.

 The company’s entry-level lineworker hiring strategy is transforming to fast-track and hire more aggressively, collaborate with local community colleges to identify lineworker talent, shorten the new hire onboarding process and deploy new hires more rapidly. 

 The Duke Energy Foundation has granted $270,000 to five separate Florida community colleges for their lineman programs to include:

  • Valencia College
  • South Florida State College
  • St. Petersburg College
  • Seminole State College
  • Lake Sumter State College

“We’re so fortunate to have a network of great community colleges here in Florida that support our growing need for entry-level lineworkers,” said Anderson. “These colleges give opportunities to men and women who are interested in a dynamic career in the energy field, with huge growth potential.”

Those interested in a career as an electrical lineworker with Duke Energy should contact community colleges directly for more information on their specific lineworker training programs, including available funding for tuition 

Over the past six years, Duke Energy and its Foundation have provided more than $2.8 million in funding to support lineworker programs in states where the company operates.

A Bright Day to Celebrate
National Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 18, but throughout the week Duke Energy will be sharing special stories in appreciation of lineworkers. Follow @DukeEnergy and visit facebook.com/DukeEnergy.

To honor lineworkers and their families on social media on National Lineworker Appreciation Day,  use the hashtag #ThankALineworker.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!