Energy company to hold expo March 4 at Pensacola training center
Power line work is dangerous. Long hours, difficult – if not near impossible – conditions. Life-threatening situations with thousands of volts of electricity flowing through the lines. It takes a certain kind of person to tackle this line of work.
To highlight the employment opportunities and showcase skills needed to work on the power lines, Gulf Power will host a Lineworker Expo in March, specifically to recruit people who might be interested in pursuing a career in the energy industry.
The expo takes place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 4, at the Douglas L. McCrary Training Center in Pensacola. Line crews from all three districts in the Gulf Power service area will be in attendance to demonstrate the different types of jobs involved in line work. Exhibits will also be set up for potential recruits to see what is involved in being a lineworker for Gulf Power.
The expo was originally scheduled for Oct. 8 last year, but was postponed when Gulf Power storm teams were deployed to aid in power restoration following Hurricane Matthew.
“It’s tough work and it takes someone with a special skill set to excel at it,” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “This is a very demanding job, both mentally and physically — but very rewarding.”
Along with the long hours, severe weather conditions, and safety and training requirements, lineworkers also act as first responders during power outages. They need to respond at moment’s notice at here home or in other parts of the state or country during any kind of weather to get customers’ lights back on as quickly and safely as possible.
In addition to Gulf Power’s service area, linemen assist other utility companies in restoring power following severe weather. Crews have deployed to other parts of the country more than 30 times since 2006.
(Watch the trailer for the documentary Storm Soldiers at some of the dangers lineworkers face every day just to keep the lights on.)
Last fall, for example, Gulf Power deployed nearly 100 lineworkers to aid in restoration efforts after Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew caused widespread outages across Northwest Florida and the southeastern part of the country. Lineworkers not only restored energy and got the lights back on, but helped restore hope to hundreds of thousands of customers during the warm fall months. For their efforts, Gulf Power received the Edison Electrical Institute’s “Emergency Assistance Award.”
When not responding to outages, a typical lineworker’s day may include installing new service, new power lines and utility poles, conducting infrastructure maintenance or climbing 40-foot poles.
Some of these tasks will be demonstrated at the Expo.
“The crews will work through several different scenarios, demonstrating the daily skills required to do the job and show those attending how it’s done,” DelaHaya added. “Human Resources will also be there to answer any questions about working for Gulf Power.”
HR will also help the recruits sign up for an employment profile on the company’s Careers website. There is no cost for candidates to attend and lunch will be provided at the event.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone who has thought about a career in line service with Gulf Power to come out — learn about the job and ask any questions,” said DelaHaya.