Bismarck State College lineworker graduates prepare for the workforce

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Students are graduating from Bismarck State CollegeTuesday, and it’s their training that helps keep the lights on.

It’s finals day for these BSC lineworker students who have to complete five tasks in order to graduate from the program.

“Basically, we got the cross arm change out. We got the transformer changeout, the hurt man rescue., the confidence climb and then the ground frame,” explained Brad Anderson, the lead lineworker instructor.

Parents, families and supporters looked on as 50 students from BSC put their skills to the test.

Anderson says everything they’ve learned in the last nine months will come in handy on the daily.

“Actually going out and working for the co-ops and supplying the power for North Dakota, it’s important that this program runs every year. And keeps pumping out students in order to keep the lights on for all those customers,” explained Anderson.

These students will now join the 1,700 others that have graduated throughout the 50-year program put on together by BSC and the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives.

“Here every day, you know 7:30 in the morning working till 2, 3 in the afternoon. And you know a lot of us have jobs besides school too. So we’re working jobs after school and then trying to keep up with the homework too after that. So it’s a real milestone to achieve this all,” shared student Brandon Roemich.

“It’s almost surreal. I actually travel from Minot every day. So it’s been an hour and 45 minute drive for me. So in the beginning it seemed like it was a never-ending cycle and now I’m making my last trip up here before I go out to the workforce. So it’s a great feeling,” shared student Devyn Bond.

The rapid growth of the program has even led to the decision to build a new, 26,000 square foot indoor training center.

“We’re just excited about being able to do more intensive training inside. And again not just for the lineworker training program but for the existing lineworkers who have to meet specific training standards throughout the year,” said Josh Kramer, the Executive Vice President and General Manager for NDARECs.

The new training facility is set to be finished by July of 2022.

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