Duke Energy celebrates Florida lineworkers of the past, present and future ahead of National Lineworker Appreciation Day

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Duke Energy celebrates Florida lineworkers of the past, present and future ahead of National Lineworker Appreciation Day

National Lineworker Appreciation Day, April 18, recognizes the men and women who power the lives of millions across the country

More than $1.8 million invested in college lineworker programs to strengthen the talent pipeline in Florida


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – WEBWIRE

As the energy industry continues to evolve, one thing remains: The job of a lineworker is critical to the safe and efficient delivery of power for customers now and into the future. On April 18, Duke Energy recognizes National Lineworker Appreciation Day and the sacrifices, integrity and service of Florida’s lineworkers.

“Lineworkers are among the first responders after storms and other disasters and often work in the most challenging conditions to make sure our communities, businesses, schools and hospitals have safe, reliable power,” said Jason Williams, Duke Energy senior vice president of power grid operations in Florida. “We are grateful for those that have laid the foundation for current and future lineworkers. These dedicated individuals play such a vital role in maintaining and growing our energy infrastructure, protecting public safety and keeping the lights on for our customers.”

Duke Energy employs more than 600 lineworkers across Florida who construct, operate and maintain the equipment that delivers electricity to approximately 2 million customers across its 13,000-square-mile territory in Florida.  

Whether then or now, lineworkers consider it a privilege to serve their communities and they love what they do. For many, a career as a lineworkers is steeped in personal, family and professional tradition.

“I became a lineworker because I knew I would always have a job. People always needed power,” said Eddy Lee, a 37-year retiree from Florida Power Corporation and Progress Energy, Duke Energy’s predecessor companies. When speaking about his experience working as a lineworker in the central Florida area from 1966-2004, Lee said, “Service was No. 1.”

Becoming a lineworker

Lineworkers receive an extensive progression of training over several years. In most cases at each interval, both written and field tests must be successfully completed to demonstrate expertise and job knowledge.

Florida is fortunate to have a network of local and state colleges that support entry-level craft and skilled talent, which is critical to addressing the growing needs of customers, the transition to cleaner energy, and the modernization and strengthening of the grid.

To support this talent pipeline, Duke Energy and its foundation have granted more than $1.8 million since 2018, including $250,000 this year, to five lineworker programs at Lake Sumter State College, Valencia College, South Florida State College, St. Petersburg College and Seminole State College.

Last month, Duke Energy held its Lineman’s Rodeo in Winter Garden, where competitors tested the skills they rely on daily to restore power day and night – often in unpredictable outdoor conditions. All three winning apprentices were from lineworker programs supported by Duke Energy and its foundation, which speaks to the extensive training and education they receive.

Duke Energy line apprentice Alex Guillen graduated from St. Petersburg College and placed first in the overall apprentice category. In October, he will compete against apprentices from across the world at the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas.

“Going from EMS to linework, I’m still helping the community. There’s still that passion inside that says I want to help people” Guillen said of a transition from EMS to linework. Read more about Alex’s story in this illumination article.

National Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 18, but throughout the week Duke Energy and its communities will be showing their appreciation of lineworkers. To honor lineworkers and their families on social media on National Lineworker Appreciation Day, please use the hashtag #ThankALineworker.

Duke Energy Florida

Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 12,300 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 2 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.

( Press Release Image: https://photos.webwire.com/prmedia/6/320493/320493-1.jpg )


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