Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) has been awarded $1.7 million through AccelerateMS to address a workforce shortage in the areas of telecommunications tower antenna and line installers and electrical power-line installers. The Telecommunication Tower Antenna and Line Installers workforce training will be at the MGCCC West Harrison County Center in Long Beach.
The Electrical Power-Line Installer training will include an expansion of the current Apprentice Electric Lineman program at the George County Center in Lucedale and a new noncredit option in Harrison County in partnership with Mississippi Power.
“We are excited to begin the one-semester line installer and electrical power-line installer training programs this fall,” said Millie Bordelon, dean of the West Harrison County Center and Special Projects. “We hope to begin the telecommunications tower training this summer. These programs will be offered at no cost to participants and will prepare them to begin high-demand jobs immediately upon successful completion.”
The college has partnered with MillerCo, a full-service tower company and primary member of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association. MGCCC in conjunction with MillerCo has designed a unique curriculum to quickly meet industry needs at a local, regional, and national level.
Electrical partners include Mississippi Power, Singing River Electric Power Association, Coast Electric Power Association, Volt Power Company, Chain Electric Company, Pike Electric LLC, and Weaver Electric, Inc.
“NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association commends the State of Mississippi, Gulf Coast Region and MGCCC for prioritizing workforce development and investing in communications infrastructure training programs,” said President & CEO Todd Schlekeway. “By working closely with our local member companies and industry, MGCCC’s education system will graduate safe and productive technicians who meet the high standards and expectations of NATE member companies. These collaborative efforts will be the model for other states and enable the United States to continue to be the world leader in communications technology,” Schlekeway added.
The projected employment growth rate in south Mississippi for these professions is 9.1 percent with a projected annual median salary of $55,000 (MDES Occupational Projections, 2018-2028).
Training will include regulatory safety standards, basic electricity, broadband, fiber optics, pole climbing, bucket truck operation, commonly used equipment, electrical engineering controls, work practice controls, return demonstrations, fall protection regulations, tower rescue, rigging, and proper use of the equipment applicable to the appropriate job site.