T&D World Magazine

Taking a Hands-On Approach to Training Linemen

To train its workforce for the future, Consumers Energy constructed a new training center six years ago. Today a combination of more than 2,000 students, apprentices, and journeymen linemen sharpen their skills on everything from climbing poles to operating heavy equipment each year on the training grounds in Marshall, Michigan.

Prior to 2008, the field workforce attended class in a smaller training center, and oftentimes, they had to learn in portable classrooms, limiting the size of the classes. As part of its “Go Forward” initiative, the utility demolished the existing center and invested $5 million to construct a new training center with six classrooms.

In addition, the center features three individual labs for line work, substations, and electric meter training, a separate renewable energy center, and outdoor training facilities. On more than four acres of land, the entry-level new and seasoned field workers learn how to stay safe and productive in the field through a blend of classroom and hands-on training. 

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