Electric Lineworker Apprentices Train at New Outdoor Facility at Rio Rancho Campus

Oct. 19, 2017 -- CNM, CNM Ingenuity, Inc. and the New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NMRECA) have partnered to bring the association’s statewide Lineworker Electric Power Training Facility to the CNM Rio Rancho Campus.
October 19, 2017

Fifty apprentices trained at the facility Oct. 16-20 as they prepare to become fully-fledged electrical lineworkers for one of NMRECA’s 15 rural cooperatives across the state.

The apprentices actually helped build the facility as part of their training, with about 20 supervisors overseeing the effort. The facility currently includes 12 poles (with four more scheduled for installation), six transformers and an underground power grid. Apprentices train on the grid of electrical systems that are underground, above ground and on the poles.

In addition to NMRECA’s apprenticeship trainings, CNM Ingenuity, a nonprofit that helps CNM pursue cooperative ventures in technology and entrepreneurship, will begin offering a pre-apprenticeship program in January 2018 for people interested in becoming an electric lineworker, which provides a good-paying career. The CNM Ingenuity pre-apprenticeship program will also be located at the Rio Rancho Campus and will run 12-16 weeks followed by an additional 240 hours spent interning with one of the rural cooperatives. The curriculum is in the process of being finalized, but will include classes focused on basic electrical theory, overhead and underground line work, pole climbing, equipment operation, transformers and personal safety and protection. Graduates will also earn an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certification, CPR and First Aid certifications, and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License.

CNM Ingenuity will begin by offering the training program twice per year, with capacity for 15-20 students per cohort. If there’s industry demand for more, CNM will increase the number of times it runs the program per year.

“CNM and CNM Ingenuity are very excited that we could establish this partnership with NMRECA and help bring a crucial statewide training facility to the Rio Rancho community,” said Kyle Lee, executive director of CNM Ingenuity. “This training facility is vitally important to thousands of people across New Mexico, soLinemen on poles we’re very proud that future electric lineworkers will gain their specialized skills at the Rio Rancho Campus.”

For more information about the CNM Ingenuity Electric Lineworker Pre-apprenticeship Program, email lineworker@cnm.edu

NMRECA, organized in 1944, is headquartered in Santa Fe and represents 15 of the state’s rural electric cooperatives and their members. New Mexico’s rural electric cooperatives provide vital utility services to over 211,000 New Mexico families and businesses.