Pictured (left to right): Columbia State Community College Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Academy Mini-Rodeo overall winners Jackson Farler from Lewisburg in second place, Braydon King from Mount Juliet in first place, and Kaleb Blackwood from Summertown in third place.

The Columbia State Community College Office of Workforce and Continuing Education recently hosted a Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Academy Mini-Rodeo that allowed students to demonstrate the skills they learned during the seven-week program.

“I am thrilled that we have such a wonderful program to offer our community, and it is a program that has received national recognition from the American Association of Community Colleges as a finalist for their best college/corporate partnership award,” said Melody Murphy, Columbia State Workforce and Continuing Education director. “Previous participants have found employment with local utility companies and with contractors throughout the southeast region.”

Upon completion of the program, the students received a Tennessee Valley Public Power Association climbing certification, first aid and CPR certifications, 10-hour safety card and flagging certification. In addition, the students are prepared to sit for a commercial driver’s license.

During the mini-rodeo, students competed in different activities including the 80-foot pole climb, bell change and switch transfer.

In the first activity, students climb up and down an 80-foot pole, which is a necessary part of the TVPPA Climbing Lab Certification. In this activity, Jackson Farler from Lewisburg came in first place, Dylan Smith from Columbia came in second place and Braydon King from Mount Juliet came in third place.

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Jay Kirchner from Hermitage completes the bell change.

The bell change and switch transfer are activities lineman would do in the field as a result of lightning, loose connections or replacement of aging materials to maintain electricity for those in the service area.

In the bell change, students climb a 40-foot pole and change out the bell that holds the line to the pole. In this activity, Braydon King came in first place, Kaleb Blackwood from Summertown came in second place and Dylan Smith came in third place.

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Chase Runions from Columbia completes the 80-foot pole climb.

In the switch transfer, students climb a 40-foot pole to change out the switch attached to the cross-arm of the pole. In this activity, Braydon King came in first place, Jackson Farler came in second place and Ian Carroll from Hohenwald came in third place.

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Jackson Farler from Lewisburg completes the switch change.

In the overall rodeo, Braydon King came in first place, Jackson Farler came in second place and Kaleb Blackwood came in third place.

In addition to his performance in the rodeo, Ian Carroll was presented with the Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Academy Outstanding Student Award.

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Ian Carroll receives the Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Academy Outstanding Student Award.

The Pre-Apprentice Lineworker program is a result of communities from across Middle Tennessee coming together to fill a need in the workforce.

For more information about the program, please visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/Lineworker. Upcoming cohorts are scheduled for July 2022, September 2022 and March 2023. All individuals interested in the program should register through the link and it will place them on a waitlist for future classes.