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Kilgore College students end course with lineman rodeo

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 12:37 PM CDT
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Some are looking for a start, and some are looking for a change. KLTV talked with the youngest and oldest in a class of linemen just graduating from the Kilgore College Electric Power Technology program.

Linemen in the latest class vary in age from 18 like Cody Williams from Bogota to 39 like Ryan Bobbitt from Grapeland. But why are they doing it?

“I had a couple of buddies that went to linemen school down here in Kilgore, and they’ve gone on and started working, and they make pretty good money. They always talk about the brotherhood and how everybody’s bonded together. and I just thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out,” Williams said.

“I got a brother that does it, a brother-in-law, and several friends. I changed what I was doing in life. I was a machinist for 20 years, now I’m changing. I want to work with my hands, want to work outside and always ne moving,” Bobbitt said.

So, there’s the kid and ...

“They call me G-Pop,” Bobbitt said.

The class learns the ropes, as it were, by putting up the poles, stringing the lines, and fixing problems. They had to execute a certain action.

“Personal protective grounding. We do that to protect ourselves, the general public, and our equipment,” Williams said.

And, preparing for the worst, the hurt-man rescue is a necessity, and the faster the better. Bobbit did it in a minute and 20 seconds, which is pretty good. However, he said he hoped for better.

“I got a couple of offers. I just haven’t decided where I want to go,” Williams said.

“Houston County Electric Coop. We kind of talked whenever we started the program. I approached them. We got together yesterday,” Bobbitt said.

“Okay, and they said, ‘ongratulations,’” I said.

“Yes, sir, and I told them congratulations on getting a good hand,” Bobbitt said.

So, young or old, or maybe just older, when the power goes down, they go up to get your lights on. And Kilgore College has the latest equipment to keep everything current.

Kilgore College says nearly all the 20 graduating students already have jobs. Since it began in 2008, they have had more than 300 graduates from the program.

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