April 18 recognizes the women and men who power the lives of millions of people across the country
Linework is a fast-growing career field with training and jobs available
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For lineworkers, weathering the storm is just another day on the job. On April 18, Duke Energy celebrates National Lineworker Appreciation Day – an acknowledgement of the challenging work of utility lineworkers nationwide who are committed to keeping the lights on and readying the grid for a low-carbon future.
Line teams support daily customer needs as well as projects that will help modernize and strengthen the grid to improve reliability and resiliency, enable the connection of more renewables and help protect it from cybersecurity and physical threats.
Lineworkers also perform the work that they’ve become known for – ensuring power flows to vital infrastructure such as hospitals and water treatment facilities and to everyday home conveniences – always keeping safety top of mind. Through hurricanes, lightning, wind, ice, and even extreme heat and cold, they diligently perform hands-on work through high-stress situations and the aftermath to serve customers.
“Our line teams are the calm before, during and after a storm. They maintain our systems and serve our communities in their greatest time of need – going head-to-head with storms and emergencies to deliver safe and reliable service,” said Scott Batson, senior vice president and chief distribution officer at Duke Energy. “Being a lineworker isn’t for everyone, but it’s certainly a job that impacts everyone.”
Battling storms, building the future
Ten years after the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in 2013 designating April 18 as National Lineworker Appreciation Day, the role of lineworkers is more important than ever before – in maintaining and growing energy infrastructure, protecting public safety and making sure communities have power.
“Our lineworkers continue to do the important work of ‘keeping the lights on’ – whether it’s our transmission techs working on high-voltage transmission lines that carry electricity from power plants or our distribution techs working on the lines that carry power to homes and businesses,” said Harry Sideris, executive vice president of customer experience, solutions and services for Duke Energy. “I’m proud that our line teams prioritize safety and taking care of our customers and of each other.”
When Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida as the fifth-strongest hurricane on record, Duke Energy lineworkers were some of the first to answer the call, working alongside first responders to restore power to nearly 2 million outages in Florida and the Carolinas within 72 hours.
“My job comes with daily challenges and responsibilities for both my crew and me, but I take pride in safely and efficiently delivering power to our customers – so they can go about their lives with the modern conveniences that electricity provides, and that most people depend on,” said Joshua Haithcock, senior journeyman lineworker with the New Bern coastal zone workforce development crew.
The more than 7,700 Duke Energy and contract lineworkers who make up the Duke Energy line team are responsible for constructing, operating and maintaining equipment and more than 300,000 miles of power lines in Duke Energy's service territories – enough to circle the Earth 12 times.
A sky-high career
As Duke Energy continues to launch new grid and infrastructure improvement projects to modernize, harden and technologically advance the power grid, the need for skilled workers – especially entry-level lineworkers – is also on the upswing. Lineworkers play an integral role in a more efficient, more reliable digital grid.
The company’s lineworker hiring strategy is transforming to fast-track and hire more aggressively, collaborate with local community colleges to identify lineworker talent, shorten the new hire onboarding process and deploy new hires more rapidly.
“It’s a great time to be working in energy – and we’re fortunate to be able to source great talent through our community colleges,” said Batson. “Individuals who fill these roles join our other lineworkers as ambassadors for the company when they’re in the field.”
Those interested in a career as an electric lineworker with Duke Energy should contact community colleges directly for more information on their specific lineworker training programs, including available funding for tuition.
Over the past six years, Duke Energy and its Foundation have provided more than $2.8 million in funding to support lineworker programs in states where the company operates.
A bright day to celebrate
National Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 18, but throughout the week Duke Energy will be sharing special stories in appreciation of lineworkers. Make sure to follow @DukeEnergy and visit facebook.com/DukeEnergy.
To honor lineworkers and their families on social media on National Lineworker Appreciation Day, please use the hashtag #ThankALineworker.
Lineworker b-roll and photography:
Lineworkers brighten our communities
Multimedia Gallery | Duke Energy | News Center (duke-energy.com)
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,600 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company has interim carbon emission targets of at least 50% reduction from electric generation by 2030, 50% for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035, and 80% from electric generation by 2040. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2023 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “World’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Contact: Logan Kureczka