The highly successful Hazard Community and Technical College’s offering, “Electrical Lineman/Utility Operator Program,” received the Outstanding Workforce Development Award from the Community Colleges of Appalachia.
HCTC President Dr. Jennifer Lindon, HCTC Workforce Solutions Director Keila Miller, and Jennifer Bergman, JobSight Services Director at Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, were honored for their work which has provided training for 117 furloughed coal miners since it started in October 2013. A class is currently underway.
All three praised the work of the instructors with the program and the dedication shown by the students in the classes. Larry Knight, the late Chris Engle, Albert Feltner, Anthony Bowling, Stephen Massie, James Slone, Tyler Halcomb, and Richie Thomas have all served as teachers.
Dr. Lindon said seeing so many people complete the program and then quickly getting jobs is very gratifying. “We now see hope and secure futures for these workers and it’s great to see their lives transformed after completing the accelerated training,” she said.
Keila Miller has contact with potential employers throughout the region and she helps those completing the program to get hired quickly. “Those who complete the program are job ready. Employers are happy to take our graduates because they know they are getting workers who do the very best daily,” she said.
Ms. Bergman noted, “This is one of the most successful training programs we are investing in for our laid-off coal miners in Eastern Kentucky. We are very excited about our partnership with HCTC for this program which has one of the highest job-placement rates overall for our training. The combination of certifications obtained in this training will launch our clients into new careers.”
Dr. Anne McNutt, Executive Director of the Community Colleges of Appalachia, said that numerous outstanding programs were nominated but HCTC’s program was the most deserving. The award was presented June 14 in Asheville, North Carolina.