CHS students to learn about new C.L.I.M.B. line worker program at Energy Industry Expo
By Emily Johnson & Jose Salazar
This Thursday, February 27, an Energy Industry Expo will be held at the Grady Cultural Center from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. At the event, students will learn about the new C.L.I.M.B. electric line worker program that will be added for Cairo High School next school year.
The Red & Black recently spoke with the CEO of the College and Career Academy at Cairo High School, Mr. Todd Gainous, about the exciting new opportunity, as well as the expo. He discussed the history of the electric companies and the events and activities that would be taking place at the expo.
"There are some companies, two specific companies that approached me back in September about the possibility of a line worker program. One of them was the Grady County EMC, the Electric Membership Co. Op." Mr. Gainous said. These people provide electricity in the county.
There is another company called "Storm Services" in Reno, Ga. These are the people who set up the "tent cities" when Hurricane Michael struck. They also provided clothing, food, and water. This company wants to hire young line workers that can be leased to companies when there are natural disasters.
"Most of the line workers are older and they're nearing retirement age," Mr. Gainous explained. "There are not enough people coming into the industry to replace the ones that are retiring ... so they approached us about about the possibility of putting in a line worker school or a program to train line workers. We have been in conversation with them, and we're actually adding a line worker program at Cairo High School next school year. It will be a Dual Enrollment opportunity with Southern Regional Technical College."
The C.L.I.M.B. program was created to educate students in our area who could be future line workers about the energy industry. The companies listed above, such as Storm Services, came together to create the EXPO to inform students of these opportunities.
There will be many opportunities for student to get a hands-on experience of the energy industry and line working. A "bucket truck" Virtual Reality (VR) program will be available at the expo, and so will a show trailer that addresses different things in the energy industry. Another company is bringing a solar panel trailer, and Grady EMC will have a live line display.
"We're excited, we want students to get involved in this to see if they really have an interest. We want them to apply for the program because we want to fill the program up," Mr. Gainous said.
"That's the whole beauty of Cairo High School being a College and Career Academy. We want to look to our surrounding area, to our community. That is our goal as a College and Career Academy: to meet the needs of our community."