Austin Energy Celebrates National Lineworker Appreciation Day

April 16, 2021

On Sunday, April 18, Austin Energy recognizes its nearly 150 lineworkers for their dedication to ensuring customers have access to safe, reliable power for National Lineworker Appreciation Day.

Lineworkers, also known as Distribution Electricians, work long hours, often in inclement weather and dangerous conditions. They spend countless hours, days and sometimes weeks away from their own families, helping to safely restore power. 

To help encourage and recruit the next generation of lineworkers, Austin Energy has its own Climbing School. Climbing School participants go through a three-week long training process designed to introduce the fundamental aspects of line work. It's a combination of formal classroom and field training where trainers help with the hands-on portion of the training during class and the on-the-job training. After graduating from climbing school, apprentices are assigned to a crew and begin their field learning.

"Climbing school is a very critical part of the apprenticeship program," said Craig Ptomey, Austin Energy Craft & Field Program Manager. "Austin Energy is lucky to have a full apprenticeship program that is taught in house. It is very satisfying to be a part of teaching a new apprentice through the full five-year program and watch them learn and grow.”

Austin Energy’s lineworkers help maintain more than 12,000 miles of distribution and transmission lines across a 437 square mile area, including Austin and portions of Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties.

“Lineworkers provide an essential service that is often overlooked. Never has this service been more important than during the last year, working through the unique challenges of a global pandemic and then Winter Storm Uri,” said Jackie Sargent, Austin Energy General Manager. “We are so grateful for our lineworkers, who perform maintenance and repairs on a daily basis and stand ready to respond in emergencies in their own communities and sometimes in other communities.”

Check out this video of Keffer Moore sharing his experiences as an Austin Energy lineworker.