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Apprentices with Irby Construction Co. get their technical training and hands-on practice at the electric power overhead training field at Riverside Campus. Irby Co., which is based in Jackson, Miss., is one the top 20 electrical distributors and electric power contractors in the United States. The TEEX Electric Power Employee Development Program trains all of the apprentices for the company, which has 37 branches across the country.

There are 160 Irby employees in the four-year electric power apprenticeship program, which is certified by the U.S. Department of Labor, said Dan Gray, program manager in Engineering, Utilities and Public Works Training Institute. Individual courses on construction and maintenance of electric power lines are three weeks long and are taught every month at Riverside Campus by Jack Lemmon and Craig Roberts of EUPWTI.

Gray said completion of a four-year certified apprenticeship program, along with additional work experience, qualifies an employee to become a journeyman, which is the highest level of electric power line work.

TEEX also conducts electric power apprenticeship programs for Highlines Construction Co. of Westwego, La., and for City Public Service (CPS) in San Antonio. The CPS apprenticeship classes are taught by John Morton and Jack Brookover at the TEEX center on S. Presa in San Antonio.

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Kathy Fraser

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