The Holmes Community College Electrical Lineman Program has added another bucket truck to its fleet thanks to a donation from B&B Electrical and Utility Contractors, Inc. out of Brandon.
"B&B recognizes the importance of investing in our future generation of utility professionals," B&B Recruiter Chad Simmons said of the 2004 Freightliner FL70 with an Altec aerial lift donation. "We also believe strongly in supporting our community and giving back.
"Our relationship with Holmes CC is an integral part of B&B's long-term strategy of identifying, recruiting, and onboarding the very best crop of young utility professionals each year," he added. "Holmes CC has continued to provide an excellent platform for training these young recruits year after year, and we place an extremely high value on continuing to foster our ongoing partnership in the future. The community college setting in Mississippi is one of the lifelines for the utility industry and for workforce development as a whole.
"Holmes CC has taken a vision and created a reality of excellence. For over ten years, Holmes has provided Central Mississippi with educated, well-trained, and well-situated apprentice lineman. The 16 week course is an excellent environment for preparing young recruits for employment in a very competitive, technical and demanding field. The classroom and practical education that these apprentices receive is second-to-none. Quality leadership, state-of-the-art tools, equipment, and a wealth of staff knowledge will produce another fine class of future lineman that will be head-and-shoulders above their peers as they begin their careers. As always, Holmes CC sets the standard in all of its practical programs, and we look forward to the opportunity of making B&B their home, after Holmes."
Simmons said employee safety is a main concern and having the right equipment is key.
"As we continue to strive for safety excellence, safer work practices have replaced the 'gung-ho' mentality of days past," Simmons said. "As we move into the future of power maintenance and restoration, doing the job safely is our top priority. There will always be a need for climbing poles, but the truck and bucket have quickly become the default for performing our work in a more safe and timely manner. We hope that our truck will provide an opportunity to educate on safe set-up, operation, and the working platform for all future Holmes CC apprentice lineman recruits."
"B&B donating this truck to our electrical lineman program is huge," Workforce Coordinator/Attala Center Director Mandy Burrell said. "It is a big asset to our program.
"This allows more students to drive and complete their full CDL Driver's License with air brakes," she said. "The support of local industry like B&B is an investment not only to the lineman students, it is also an investment in Mississippi. It helps train individuals to become employees in our state."