Student Spotlight: NLC Celebrates Future Linemen at Rodeos

Sept. 3, 2020
The Northwest Lineman College campuses in Texas and Idaho organized virtual and live events to honor the hard work and dedication of their graduating classes.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, utilities, associations and line schools were forced to cancel training and networking events and Lineman's Rodeo competitions. Northwest Lineman College's (NLC) Texas campus, however, discovered a way to celebrate its Electrical Lineworker Program 2002 class with a live Rodeo on Aug. 12.

The event kicked off at 7 a.m. on a day that soared to 102 degrees. Eric Eriksen, president of the Texas NLC campus, says he was excited to successfully organize one of the nation's few Lineman's Rodeo events this year, while still maintaining COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

"Their hard work following COVID-19 guidelines all term long was rewarded with the opportunity to compete in this coveted rodeo event," Eriksen says. "We didn’t have the normal fan fair audience of family or prospective employers present, but this didn’t deter the energy or performance of the participants.  Students knew their families and prospective employers were watching online, reviewing resumes and looking for the winning team. 

At the time of the Rodeo, the class of students was only two days away from graduating from the second term of the year at the NLC Texas campus.

"They are at the apex of their electrical linework education," he says. "This event is about showcasing their knowledge, skills and behaviors.  We are very proud of our students' success as several of them received job offers following the event."

Meanwhile, the NLC campus in Idaho also had a Rodeo in late March by following COVID-19 guidelines and practicing social distancing like the recent event in Texas.

"Basically the time between this March event and August event, we did forgo rodeo events and conducted virtual graduations," Eriksen says. "We are still conducting virtual graduations, which we’ve been improving on each time.  They are getting pretty cool and people seem to be liking them, as we may have up to 1,000 viewers online watching.  Our effort is to present more of a student experience similar to watching a professional sporting event."

The following photo gallery showcases photos from the recent Rodeo in Texas and the Rodeo in Idaho in March. Congratulations to these graduating classes. T&D World magazine wishes you a long and successful career in the line trade!

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