Power line work can be dangerous, with long hours and difficult conditions, working as thousands of volts of electricity flow through the lines around you.
Gulf Power officials say that it takes a “certain kind of person” to do that sort of work.
That’s why the company is hosting a Lineworker Expo next month, to highlight employment opportunities and showcase the skills needed to work on power lines. The expo will be held from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 4, at Gulf Power’s Douglas L. McCrary Training Center, located at 9088 Pine Forest Road in Pensacola.
Line crews from all three districts in Gulf Power’s service area will be in attendance to demonstrate the different types of jobs involved in line work. Exhibits will also be set up for potential recruits to see what is involved in being a lineworker for Gulf Power.
“It’s tough work and it takes someone with a special skill set to excel at it,” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “This is a very demanding job, both mentally and physically — but very rewarding.”
Along with the long hours, severe weather conditions, and safety and training requirements, lineworkers also act as first responders during power outages. They must be available to respond at moment’s notice here at home or in other parts of the state or country during any kind of weather to get customers’ lights back on as quickly and safely as possible. Gulf Power crews have deployed to other parts of the country more than 30 times since 2006.
Last fall, for example, Gulf Power deployed nearly 100 lineworkers to aid in restoration efforts after Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew caused widespread outages across Northwest Florida and the southeastern part of the country. Lineworkers not only restored energy and got the lights back on, but helped restore hope to hundreds of thousands of customers during the warm fall months. For their efforts, Gulf Power received the Edison Electrical Institute’s “Emergency Assistance Award.”
When not responding to outages, a typical lineworker’s day may include installing new service, new power lines and utility poles, conducting infrastructure maintenance or climbing 40-foot poles. Some of these tasks will be demonstrated at the expo, officials said.
“The crews will work through several different scenarios, demonstrating the daily skills required to do the job and show those attending how it’s done,” DelaHaya added. “Human Resources will also be there to answer any questions about working for Gulf Power.”
Gulf Power representatives will also help potential recruits sign up for an employment profile on the company’s Careers website. There is no cost for candidates to attend, and lunch will be provided at the event.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone who has thought about a career in line service with Gulf Power to come out, learn about the job, and ask any questions,” said DelaHaya.