National Apprenticeship Week Feature: Duke Energy

| Education & Workforce Development

Before, during and after hurricanes like Matthew and Florence, Duke Energy lineworkers were deployed all across North Carolina to turn the lights back on and help get life back to normal as quickly as possible. It’s a demanding position that has major ramifications on families everywhere in the state, and one that requires a thorough understanding of safety and the skills necessary to get the job done. That’s why Duke Energy is investing in programs that develop a strong talent pipeline of skilled individuals, including apprenticeships.

Jesse Neff is one of those individuals benefiting from the training and placement that an apprenticeship program provides. When Jesse finished his military service, he worked with a veteran transition program to find his next opportunity. He was drawn to an apprenticeship not only because of the comradery it would build between him and his peers, but also because he knew being trained the right way on challenging and hazardous tasks would pay dividends in the future. Duke Energy’s safety-first approach ensures that lineworkers understand all the necessary skills to keep themselves and each other safe while also getting the job done quickly.

Jesse’s days can involve a number of different projects, but they always start with a check-in with crew leaders and a brief on the day’s work. After that, his team loads up their line truck with the supplies needed for that day and gets to the job, which could involve anything from  running the line truck, manually digging pole holes, climbing the pole to install pole ground, assisting with the install and hook up of the transformer, getting materials ready and inspecting the rubber needed for others on his team.

Duke Energy has demonstrated their commitment to strengthening our state’s talent pipeline by investing in apprenticeship programs and other career training at Davidson County Community College, Cape Fear Community College, Craven Community College and more. As he grows in his career and training with Duke Energy, Jesse has one piece of advice for others considering which career options are right for them: get an apprenticeship! It’s an excellent way to learn a trade the right way with plenty of support.

To learn more about Jesse, check out his Twitter takeover here. For more about Duke Energy’s lineworkers, click here.

Gary J. Salamido
NC Chamber

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