Erie Community College
officially opened the new ECC, National Grid and IBEW 97 Overhead Line Training School at an event Thursday, July 15, 2010 at its South Campus in Orchard Park, NY
National Grid donated $25,000 and provided technical assistance to ECC to help construct the school, which includes 17 new utility poles that students enrolled in the college’s electric power overhead construction course will use during their training.
The course is part of ECC’s new Energy Utilities Technology certificate program currently being reviewed by SUNY and the New York State Department of Education.
The Energy Utilities Technology program, developed in partnership with National Grid, gas utility companies and IBEW Local 97, has combined the college’s overhead electric line worker and gas field operations technician training programs into one certificate program.
The program is designed to fill a critical need for qualified entry-level workers in the energy utility industry. Job opportunities exist for overhead and underground line workers, meter workers, field service technicians and sub-station maintenance workers.
“The availability of skilled labor is important to National Grid’s operations and to the future of the energy utility industry as a whole,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive director, energy services delivery, at National Grid. "Our partnership with the ECC helps us to develop a consistent source of specially trained personnel and provides a local avenue for formal training to support this integral part of our operations. Through business-to-business partnerships with local assets such as the ECC, National Grid is able to meet our own objectives and at the same time create value for our community."
ECC President Jack Quinn commended National Grid for its support in establishing the Overhead Line Training School.
“On behalf of the ECC Board of Trustees and the entire college community, I would like to thank National Grid for the generous donation to get the Overhead Line Training School up and running,” Quinn said. “In particular, I would like to thank Paul Cianchetti and Dennis Elsenbeck from National Grid for their integral role in creating this fantastic partnership. I would also like to thank Kevin Long from IBEW 97, who completes the link between academia, industry and labor that makes this partnership work. This is an excellent example of how ECC joins with labor and industry to provide our students with the training necessary to become skilled laborers who can enter the workforce with high-paying jobs.”
The 30 credit-hour program can be completed by full-time students in two semesters. An optional Electric Power Overhead Construction course at the Overhead Line Training School will be offered during the summer, and would be a requirement for students seeking employment as an overhead electrical line worker.
For more information regarding the Energy Utilities Technology program, contact the ECC Choices in Technology office at 716-851-1575 or visit www.ecc.edu
National Grid is also taking action to address the challenge of workforce development with its innovative and comprehensive “Engineering Our Future
” initiative to inspire youth and attract and develop utility workers. National Grid already has invested more than $3 million in this program to target students of all ages and backgrounds to encourage them to study science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known as “STEM.” For more information about employment at National Grid, visit the Careers
section of www.nationalgridus.com
Erie Community College
meets the needs of a diverse student body and contributes to regional economic vitality by providing excellent, flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in a multi-campus environment committed to continuous improvement.
National Grid is an international energy-delivery company. In the U.S., 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 (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.