The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recently recognized TVPPA and Columbia State Community College as a finalist for the Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership award during their Annual Conference on May 2.

The honor recognizes the contributions of TVPPA and surrounding local power companies in Columbia, Tenn. to the Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Program at Columbia State. These surrounding LPCs include Columbia Power and Water Systems, Lewisburg Electric System and Lawrenceburg Utility System.

“This partnership serves TVPPA member utilities within the communities they serve,” said Caleb Hall, TVPPA Manager of Education & Training. “It allows young men and women the opportunity to begin their pursuit of linework. Furthermore, it allows the local power companies in these communities greater access to a trained, local workforce when making an employment decision.”

Launched in the Fall of 2020, this program trains three cohorts per year with 16 to 18 students in each class. Students who complete the program learn the basic skills required to become a lineworker and earn the following:

  • TVPPA Climbing Certificate
  • OSHA 10 Electrical Transmission and Distribution Certification
  • National Safety Council Flagger Certification
  • American Heart Association First Aid

“This is a program that we were already extremely proud of before the recognition, and I think this honor proves why,” said Melody Murphey, Director of Workforce and Continuing Education at Columbia State. “We are grateful for our partnership with TVPPA, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

These students also receive help crafting a resumé and can participate in mock interviews run with help from LPC partners.

“The Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Academy is a career opportunity that exists because an industry and a college came together to solve a workforce need,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. “We at Columbia State are thankful to work alongside of the folks of TVPPA and our surrounding utility companies and municipalities to offer this career program. We are honored that our colleagues recognized it as an outstanding industry-college partnership.”

If your LPC is interested in participating in a partnership such as this one, TVPPA will initiate conversations with community colleges in your service territory and better educate their staff on a potential Pre-Apprentice Lineworker program. Please contact Caleb Hall at with any questions and to further discuss this topic.