GWINN — Experts are saying that there is a need for people to work in the trades as jobs become available. NMU offers a program to help those who are interested to learn the proper skills and get into the field relatively quick. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac visited the program’s open house and even got a lift.

Today NMU’s Electrical Line Technician Program held their open house at the Midwest Skills Development Center in Gwinn. Current students were able to show their families and potential students the skills they are learning. They were even able to give some of them a view from their perspective.

NMU ETC Instructor Jerry LePage says, “You know, it’s nice for me, too, to meet the families a little bit. I take a lot of pride in the program, it’s nice to be able to say, ‘Hey, look at all the stuff we’re doing,’ and for me it’s a very prideful day.”

ETC Student Ryan Bischof says, “Ever since I was younger, UPPCO came to our fourth grade class and gave us all a presentation, and ever since then it’s kind of just been in the back of my mind, and I found out about this program, so I just tried my hardest to get into this. I really like that we’re outside, that we’re not stuck in side all day, and we’re just doing different things everyday, and I don’t know, it’s kind of a thrill climbing a pole up that high.”

It may seem like an eternity when you’re up in the air, but that’s the neat part about this program – you can get in and out, and hopefully in the workforce in one year.

LePage says, “There is a future shortage of linemen. They need young people to enter the trade, cause of a lot of the old–timers are getting up there where it’s harder to do the work because it is a physically demanding job. So many, many of the linemen that are currently working very lose, within the next five years, to be retired.”

After students complete their two semesters they earn a diploma, and then they can move on to apprenticeships.

For more information about the program click here.

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