A group of six apprentice linemen currently enrolled in Mississippi Power’s lineman training program can add another certification to their toolbelts.

They are the first group to complete the National Utility Industry Training Fund program at Mississippi Power. NUITF is a training program that was created as a partnership between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and several utility companies to standardize training across the industry.

Randall Pinkston , center, and Mike Barnes, back right, recognized the company’s first group of apprentice linemen to complete the National Utility Industry Training Fund program. Graduates include Josh Avant, Aaron Beard, Ben Fayard, Armando Jones, Philip Rodgers and Sam Smith (not pictured.)

“This program establishes a baseline for training,” Senior Safety and Training Specialist Mike Barnes said. “The curriculum was reviewed and modified by a committee that included IBEW and personnel from Alabama Power. The end in mind is to provide the best training available in the industry today.” 

Mississippi Power implemented NUITF training for Distribution and Substation employees this year. Transmission Lines will implement the program in 2020.

“This program takes the training we do at Mississippi Power and Southern Company to another level,” Power Delivery General Manager Randall Pinkston told the group of graduates. “The knowledge you’ve gained during this class can’t be taken from you. You should take advantage of every opportunity that this training provides you.”

The computer-based portion of the class operates from a central server, which allows for new tools, techniques and equipment to be uploaded and shared with all instructors and students at the same time.

“The system is up-to-date and on the cutting edge of the technology that we are using in the field today,” Barnes said. “This group, our company and our customers will all benefit from this advancement in utility training.”

Pinkston thanked the group of six for their participation in the course and encouraged them to continue learning new techniques throughout their careers.

“The job you do is a craft, and not everyone can do it,” Pinkston said. “It’s a skillset that you should be proud to have and to showcase.”

The apprentice linemen that completed the training will receive a certificate from the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 188,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.