Training Programs Based On Employment Needs On The Rise At Kalamazoo Valley Community College

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chase Abnet grew up watching his father climb tall power-line poles to bring back the lights during a blackout. By the time he was 15, his dad was teaching him how to climb them too.

When Kalamazoo Valley Community College announced it was launching a 26-week Utility Line Worker Academy this year, the 20-year-old from Mendon said he didn’t think twice about applying.

“My dad would bring trucks and equipment home and finally he taught me how to climb up the poles. I knew I always wanted to do it” Abnet said. “It’s almost impossible to get into this if you’re not schooled. I was planning on going to Lansing Community College for a similar program, but doing it here is more convenient.”

Congressman Fred Upton, who is also chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, spoke at a ribbon-cutting event for the new academy on Friday. He thanked the 15 students selected for the academy from a field of 67 applicants for choosing to put their “lives on the line to make sure we have lit communities.”

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