Northwest Lineman College
Be someone the world looks up to
“Be someone the world looks up to” is the motto at Northwest Lineman College. Established in 1993 to provide a more efficient educational track for lineworkers, NLC is the leading educational institution for the line trade across the nation. NLC was born out of a vision from three individuals: Aaron Howell, who was a former lineman, Gerald McKie and Shane Porter. At that time, there were two-year programs available to prepare lineworkers to enter the field. Howell, McKie and Porter thought two years was a long period to prepare a candidate before entering the field. They resolved to design the Electrical Lineworker Program (ELP), a modernized, student-focused approach to linework training. The 14-week-program attracted the most competitive candidates in the country, preparing students to enter the utility field in a shorter timeframe. Howell wrote the majority of the first curriculum, which has continued to evolve through the years and undergo updates to reflect industry changes. Today, NLC has a development team comprised of technical authors, educators, subject-matter experts, graphic designers and videographers to continue enhancing the curriculum. Students going through the ELP curriculum will learn from a range of topics related to the electricity industry; the complexity and depth of the topics intensifies with each module, building a foundation for the students to move from one level to the next.
Linemen students from Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives have said materials are well illustrated, explaining difficult concepts with an easy-to-understand presentation supported by graphics, charts and visual aids.
With accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, NLC has expanded from its original campus in Idaho, to now having campuses in Texas, Florida, California and in the near future in North Carolina. Additionally, NLC is going beyond providing education in power delivery; the college also offers certificate programs in telecommunications and gas distribution.
Don Harbuck, NLC senior vice president of customer success, said the college created an educational model that is comprised of three phases: knowledge, skill and behavior. The knowledge phase addresses cognitive activities such as understanding different aspects of the industry; the skill phase is the hands-on component of the training; and the behavior phase includes having a positive attitude and an ability to work well with people.
“Anyone in the line work field has to have a servitude nature; it is the concept that we are all ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen,” Harbuck said.
Students pursuing the pre-apprentice training with NLC can do so by attending classes at one of their campuses. Upon completion of the program, NLC hosts a linemen rodeo and ceremony as part of the graduation festivities. Harbuck said graduates must sign a pledge which confirms their commitment to excellence, safety and leadership. For more information on NLC, visit www.lineman.edu