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11/15/2007
Hudson Valley Community College and National Grid Team Up to Train Overhead Electric Line Workers
New training program is the first SUNY approved program in the state

CONTACT: Jason McCord (518) 629-8071 or (518) 629-7180
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007

Fact Sheet

Hudson Valley Community College and National Grid officially opened the college's Overhead Electric Line Worker Laboratory today where, starting this spring, a new generation of line workers will be trained to maintain and repair electric power lines.

Facing a shortage of line workers due to a large number of retirements, National Grid approached Hudson Valley about creating a training program so it, and other utility companies, have the employees it requires. Hudson Valley recently received state approval to offer the first SUNY approved Overhead Electric Line Worker Certificate program in New York through the college's School of Engineering and Industrial Technologies.

"Hudson Valley Community College is excited to be working with National Grid in the first SUNY approved Overhead Electric Line Worker training program. This is another example of how Hudson Valley can partner with a major regional business to create job opportunities," said Hudson Valley President Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D.

Hudson Valley expects to enroll approximately 12 students in the Spring 2008 semester for the new 36-credit Overhead Electric Line Worker Certificate program. The curriculum consists of existing courses in the college's Electrical Construction and Maintenance A.O.S. degree program and two new courses: Electric Power Systems and Electric Power Overhead Construction.

"National Grid has a long-standing history of hiring Hudson Valley graduates. In fact, about half of the line workers we have hired in the past year hold a degree from Hudson Valley," said Keith McAfee, National Grid's vice president of operations for upstate New York's Eastern Division. "The training and knowledge Hudson Valley Community College graduates have makes them excellent candidates for positions in our operation workforce. We are pleased to have been able to work with the faculty and staff to make this new lab and program a reality."

The college's new Overhead Electric Line Worker Laboratory in Williams Hall will provide students with hands-on experience. National Grid provided and installed a series of utility poles and transformers in the laboratory which are wired together to simulate an actual job site.

"For National Grid to invest in our laboratory like this is incredible. This new Overhead Electric Line Worker program will get National Grid a step ahead. We'll be able to provide the electrical background their workers require through our outstanding Electrical Construction and Maintenance program," said Joseph Sarubbi, chairman of Hudson Valley's Building Systems Technology department.

Graduates of the program will be prepared for immediate employment and will have excellent job opportunities with National Grid or other utility companies.

National Grid expects to add 70 to 80 line workers in upstate New York, including the greater Capital Region, in the next few years.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 associate's degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 60,000 alumni.

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the US, National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority. National Grid is the largest power producer in New York State, owning 6,650 megawatts of electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers and supplies roughly a quarter of New York City's electricity needs. It is also the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern US, serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.


Overhead Electric Line Worker Certificate Fact Sheet

  • Hudson Valley Community College will offer the first State University of New York approved certificate program for training overhead electric line workers starting in Spring 2008.

  • The Overhead Electric Line Worker Certificate program is 36 credits. It includes existing courses in the college's Electrical Construction and Maintenance Program and two new courses: Electric Power Systems and Electric Power Overhead Construction.

  • National Grid approached Hudson Valley about creating a training program due to the large number of retiring line workers who repair and maintain overhead electric power lines.

  • National Grid expects to add 70 to 80 line workers in upstate New York, including the greater Capital Region, in the next five years.

  • Hudson Valley expects to enroll approximately 12 students in the program. The college already has received tremendous interest in the program.

  • National Grid supplied and equipped the college's new laboratory where students will gain hands-on experience working with utility poles, transformers and wiring similar to an actual job site.

  • Graduates will be prepared to work for National Grid or other utility companies.