After working as a journeyman lineman for the past forty-three years, Founder/Instructor Gary Roberts recognized the desperate need for quality trained apprentice linemen. The idea for North American Lineman Training Center was really a natural progression from Gary having worked in the field throughout the years, to teaching those who would pursue a career as an apprentice lineman at NALTC. With the promise and commitment to preserving the name of excellence to a trade started many years ago, and still in great demand today, he made the decision to go forward with the North American Lineman Training Center.
NALTC occupies a total of approximately 20 acres, with a 2,400 square foot building, built in September of 2006, as the indoor training facility, and a 1,600 square foot building, built in March of 2007, which houses the main office and two classrooms. The latest addition to the training area, is a new stand-alone Lineman Classroom, which is approximately 1400 square feet. The field training yard occupies the balance of land across from the three buildings.
As North American Lineman Training Center’s student enrollment continues to grow, we look forward to expanding our facilities and hiring more instructors in order to meet this demand.
With the introduction of the telegraph in the 1840’s, and the invention of the telephone in the 1870’s, there came a need for men to expand the distance of communication by putting up poles and stringing wire across them. The word, “lineman”, was acquired to refer to these men.Between the 1890s and the 1930s, and the advent of electric power as a useful form of energy, this job was considered to be one of the most hazardous of occupations. Many would lose their lives due to electrocution and because there wasn’t adequate training for this job.
In the 1930s, many linemen traveled around from job to job, and became known as “boomers”. They were known as risk –takers, and hard workers, with a strong sense of pride in their work. They would often make enough money to live on for a few months and then “boom out” somewhere else on a new job.The formation of labor organizations, like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was developed to represent the workers and advocate for their safety. Better tools, safety procedures, and safety equipment were introduced, and implemented, along with the need for a “lineman apprenticeship training” program.
By the 1950’s, not only did the lineman work on wood poles to deliver power to customers, but the “underground” was becoming a popular method of power delivery to customers, as well, adding to the already complex job of a lineman.Today, the term” lineman” has evolved to include a wide array of job possibilities all over the world. Working conditions have improved to include better tools, equipment, vehicles and training and many rules, standards, and procedures regarding safety have been incorporated into this occupation, making it a much more safe environment to work in.
Linemen have always taken pride in their work, and continue to strive to be first rate in this trade. They remain heroes to the community in times of outages, and repair, and remain dedicated to keeping the legacy of the pioneering linemen before them, alive.