Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is pleased to announce that on Monday, May 7, the Joint Michigan Apprentice Program (JMAP) held graduation for its first class of electric linemen apprentices who achieved the status of qualified journeyman line worker. The ceremony was held at the Wolverine Power Cooperative Training Center in Cadillac.

The inaugural class celebrated the graduation of 18 apprentice linemen employed at thirteen Michigan utilities that collectively span Michigan’s entire Lower Peninsula. Among those who completed the program from PIE&G were Shaun Curtis and Andrew (“AJ”) Paulus.

“These linemen have invested thousands of hours of training to becoming a master in their craft to provide reliable power to our members,” said Tom Sobeck, President and CEO of PIE&G. “Line workers place their lives on the line every day in service to our members in our local communities. We’re extremely proud of their accomplishment and commitment to their career.” Upon graduation from JMAP, Curtis and Paulus will continue working alongside 23 other journeymen and apprentices at PIE&G. They provide the essential service of power line maintenance and first-response when outages and emergencies occur.

The JMAP is a U.S. Department of Labor-certified program committed to producing safe, high-quality journeymen through exceptional, state-of-the-art apprenticeship training. The program is a partnership between Wolverine Power Cooperative, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876 (IBEW), and Northwest Lineman College””an industry-leading educational institution that provides pre-apprentice, apprentice, and journey-level training for the power delivery industry throughout the United States and internationally.

“The Joint Michigan Apprentice Program is proud to prepare Michigan’s line workers of the future,” said Eric Baker, president and chief executive officer at Wolverine Power Cooperative. “We’re confident in their readiness to provide safe, exceptional service to their utilities, members, customers, and fellow line workers.”

The JMAP opened last September with 61 apprentices from 28 Michigan utilities that enrolled in the program’s initial class.