Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Students explore new heights with careers in energy

Line mechanics with various levels of experience – from a 15-year We Energies veteran to individuals in their first few months of training – gathered at Milwaukee Area Technical College’s (MATC) Mequon campus on Tuesday morning to inspire high school students to learn their trade.

Nick Trudell, a line mechanic with We Energies, is halfway through his four-year apprenticeship. He got his start at MATC and calls his experience there “a good base to grow on.”

Trudell’s dedication to inspiring the next generation of line mechanics speaks to the program’s success. “The training prepares you for different situations,” he said. “Safety is always first, and someone’s always watching.” Trudell recognizes both the risks and the rewards of the work. He recommends the job for anyone who likes to work outside, is determined and understands the importance of safe work habits.

And safety was the top priority as Trudell gave high school students a hands-on experience at MATC. He helped them put on safety harnesses before taking them 65 feet in the air in a bucket truck.

Nearby, current MATC students practiced climbing utility poles. They gave the high school students a quick lesson and let them try it for themselves. The general consensus was that climbing utility poles is a lot harder than it looks, even with proper gear.

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Raymond Allen visited MATC for Careers in Energy Week. He read a proclamation from Governor Scott Walker at a brief ceremony on campus. Trudell also spoke during the ceremony, highlighting his positive experience at both MATC and We Energies.

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