Pre-apprentice Program Signing Event

Pre-apprentice Program Signing Event

July 2, 2021

The Electric Department has kicked off its second year of participating in the local program, Tradesformers. On June 14th, they held a signing event to welcome two Pre-apprentice Lineworkers to GUC through the program. Isaiah Edwards and Malachi Wolf are rising seniors at J.H. Rose and Farmville Central High Schools respectively.   

Tradesformers is a youth apprenticeship program designed to connect high school students with growing industry trades in our area. “The program was started by local trades companies to address skills needs and gaps,” said HR Director Richie Shreves. “Industry and program partners like GUC work closely with Pitt County Schools, Pitt Community College, and other community partners to identify and foster student interest in the trades.”   

Students who join this program gain on-the-job training and related classroom instruction while also earning a base pay rate and learning valuable skills to advance in their field of interest. To be a part of the Tradesformers program, students must be high school juniors and go through an application and selection process. Once in the program, students can apply to work as Pre-apprentices at participating companies the summer before their senior school year. Throughout their senior year, Pre-apprentices can continue to work 10-20 hours a week.  

“GUC can select up to two high school seniors into the program per year,” said Assistant Director of Electric Systems Ken Wade. “Each Pre-apprentice works under the direct supervision of a Crew Leader or First Class Lineworker, and the assigned work duties are limited to de-energized equipment and facilities. Their work training focuses on safe work habits and basic construction principles.”  

GUC completed its first year of participation in the program in April 2021, when Pre-apprentice Seth Garris was hired full time as an Electric Lineworker Third Class. He finished his high school classes in December 2020 and walked with his fellow graduates at D.H. Conley High School’s graduation in June 2021.  

“We had a lineworker position open up soon after Seth completed his high school classes, so he applied for the job and got it on the condition that he will continue his secondary education through our Lineworker Career Development Program (LCDP),” said Ken. “The LCDP will allow him to get an Associate of Applied Science Degree while maintaining full-time employment with us.”  

After high school graduation, Pre-apprentice Lineworkers have the opportunity to enroll in Nash or Martin Community Colleges’ Electric Line Construction Academy. This is a 16-week program where students can earn a Third-Class Line Construction Certificate. Upon completion of the program, the Apprentice Lineworker is eligible to begin a one-year internship at GUC and can apply for employment at GUC should a position become available. 

“We’re excited to welcome Isaiah and Malachi into GUC as Pre-apprentice Lineworkers,” said Assistant General Manager/Chief Administrative Officer Chris Padgett. “Having motivated and qualified people with a passion for the trades is essential at Greenville Utilities. The reason for the signing event is to celebrate Isaiah and Malachi’s decision to work in the trades, hopefully inspiring other young people to do the same.”