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SVEC Hosts Future Lineworkers

by Lydia Weaver, Community Relations Specialist

Lineworker Matt Durbin shows off a hot stick to one of the attendees.

What is linework?

“It’s the most fun you never expected,” SVEC second-class lineworker James Gennaro says.

The cooperative’s Winchester office opened its doors to about 40 students for its first “Day in the Life of a Lineworker” in October. Students from Winchester and Frederick County participated, with all four area public high schools — John Handley, Sherando, James Wood and Millbrook — represented.

They observed SVEC’s lineworkers, including Gennaro, demonstrate outage restoration of a downed line, rescue a mannequin simulating a hurt crew worker atop a pole, and show a live-line demonstration of how fuses blow. Students also got hands-on by exploring bucket trucks and using
safety gear and tools of the trade to have a real feel of the job’s daily tasks.

The day included a brief presentation about the co-op and various career opportunities, plus a video presentation from Southside Virginia Community College’s Power Line Worker program.

Students finished with an informal Q&A with lineworkers over lunch.

Students from Winchester and Frederick County participated in SVEC’s first “Day in the Life of a Lineworker” in October. They spent about three hours learning about careers in linework and getting hands-on with equipment.