Rebecca Harris, Research Associate –
Gulf Power hosted a lineman expo last March to attract prospective lineworkers. It also gave current line technicians and apprentices a place to practice their skills and engage in friendly competition. The event drew 250 attendees.
The expo showcased what someone can expect in a lineman job. Lineworker teams from across Gulf Power’s territory competed in transformer change-out and hurt-man rescue events, followed by mystery events, including a live-line event with a simulated hot wire. Human resources employees were on hand to give interested attendees more information about starting a career with Gulf Power.
Recruitment is crucial for utilities. Lineworkers and other employees are retiring at a high rate, a trend that’s projected to continue for years to come. According to Gulf Power, utilities across the U.S. need to recruit a projected 15,000 lineworkers this year to replace retiring workers. Ben Scott, training analyst and one of the hosts of event, sees recruitment events like the expo as an important step to retain as much knowledge as possible before skilled employees retire.
Scott said the expo was successful in stoking interest in lineworker careers. Since March, he says Gulf Power has “seen a significant amount of interest.” He plans to continue hosting lineworker expos, with hopefully one or two a year.