ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power has established two scholarships in an effort to encourage more women and minorities to become line mechanics.
The new Kentucky Power Lineman Scholarship is open to students enrolling at Ashland Community and Technical College and Hazard Community and Technical College. Scholarship winners receive $1,500 to help fund their training. The first scholarships will be awarded in the spring 2019. To qualify, recipients must be enrolled in the lineman college program at ACTC or HCTC; have a high school diploma or GED and a 11.0 reading score on the TABE (Test for Adult Basic Education); have a 2.4 GPA; demonstrate potential for academic excellence; submit an application and essay answering, “Why I want to become a line person;” and require financial assistance. Preference will be given to a minority or female applicant when all other qualifications are equal.
“Line work historically has been dominated predominately by white men. But just as our military has opened up more roles for women and minorities, utilities across the country also are looking to diversify their workforce to better represent the communities we serve,” said Everett Phillips, managing director of Distribution Region Operations. “At Kentucky Power, we are committed to fostering an inclusive business environment and see this scholarship as one way we can attract more women and minorities to our industry. While line work is still a physically challenging job, modernization has diminished the physical demands of the day-to-day work. Some 25 years ago, where a job may have called for a five-person crew, bucket trucks and other tools now allow that same job to be completed by a two-person team.”
The required equipment for the lineman programs can cost nearly $4,500.
“We do not want costs to keep good students from enrolling,” Phillips said. “When we welcome those with backgrounds that differ from our own, they bring a fresh outlook. At Kentucky Power, we believe embracing diversity can lead to improved work and better customer service.”
To apply for the ACTC scholarship, students should complete ACTC’s general scholarship application, which can be found at ashland.kctcs.edu/affording-college. For the HCTC scholarship, visit hazard.kctcs.edu/affording-college.
“Kentucky Power and AEP have always supported the program through donations, including a truck and supplies,” said Jennifer Lindon, HTCT’s president. “When we developed the original curriculum, it was based on AEP’s curriculum, and that has served us well.”
Kentucky Power, based in Ashland, provides service to about 168,000 customers in all or part of 20 eastern Kentucky counties. It is an operating company in the AEP system, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S. with nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states.