Duquesne Light and CCAC announce electrical distribution technology degree program

PITTSBURGH (PRNewswire-FirstCall) Flanked by lineworkers in a utility bucket truck, CCAC President Dr. Roy Flores and Duquesne Light Company President Victor A. Roque today announced the creation of the Electrical Distribution Technology (EDT) program, a joint partnership between the college and the local electric utility. The promising, two-year degree program in lineworker education will begin this summer at the North Campus of Community College of Allegheny County.

“We’re pleased that students have a degree option that combines the educational experience of CCAC and the hands-on technical training of Duquesne Light,” said Roque. “The future of southwestern Pennsylvania is directly tied to having a well-educated and prepared workforce, which a program like this helps to provide.”

Like other electric utilities across the country, Duquesne Light faces a potential shortage of experienced overhead lineworkers. More than 50 percent of the Company’s current lineworker staff will reach retirement age within the next 10 years. Students who successfully complete the EDT program will have developed marketable skills that open the door to potential job opportunities not only in the Pittsburgh region but also throughout the tri-state area.

While the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary in Pennsylvania is $34,000, these jobs are expected to have a starting yearly income in the $40,000 range.

“Our goal is to educate and provide students with the skill sets required to succeed in today’s economy,” said CCAC’s Flores.

The program will prepare students for employment in a variety of electrical fields, with an emphasis in the lineworker area. Both CCAC and Duquesne Light will split the course instruction, with academic courses taught at CCAC’s North Hills campus and essential lineworker training taught at a Duquesne Light facility.

Upon completion of the 69-credit program, participants will receive an associate degree in electrical distribution technology and will be qualified for potential employment opportunities at Duquesne Light as a second-class lineworker.

Prior to registration, candidates must undergo CCAC required placement testing in basic academic courses. Those qualifying for registration must participate in a Duquesne Light pole-climbing course prior to the program start in August.

Subjects covered in CCAC classes include Information Technology, Physics, English Composition and Technical Math. Following the second semester, students will enter a 10-week (40 hours per week) summer field internship with Duquesne Light. Students will earn between $15 and $17 per hour, depending on the job assignment and location.

The degree specifications require course completion over 21 consecutive months. The program will accept a maximum of 30 students per year.

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