Jeff Edwards, John Lee honored by class

Published 10:36 am Thursday, June 2, 2016

Graduates of the inaugural class of Southside Virginia Community College’s Power Line Worker Training School honored electric cooperative CEOs Jeff Edwards, Southside Electric Cooperative, and John Lee, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, on Thursday for their dedication in helping create the new program. School instructors Clyde Robertson and Brad Wike joined the students in recognizing Edwards and Lee as honorary members of the first graduating class. The students then presented both CEOs with an official school shirt and certificate of appreciation.

The first of its kind in Virginia, the school was founded earlier this year by a public-private partnership between Virginia’s electric co-ops, Southside Virginia Community College and the Commonwealth of Virginia. At a graduation ceremony at SVCC’s Occupational/Technical Center in Fort Pickett near Blackstone, the students were each awarded their power line worker training certification, a commercial driver’s license and CPR/First Aid certifications. Given the demand for power line workers in Virginia and across the country, the new 11-week training program has already filled its second class, which is set to begin in July. SVCC is also currently accepting applications for a third class in October, with plans for a similar schedule in 2017 and years to come.