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Partnerships power MCC Powerline program

Powerline demonostrations Powerline demonostrations

MARSHALLTOWN – The partnership that Marshalltown Community College Powerline program has built with Bashlin Industries, Inc. and Energy Solutions, Inc. (ESI) has continued to grow through the Fall 2021 semester. Both companies have visited and assisted with demonstration of proper use of products with bucket rescues and lineman gear.

ESI is the manufacturer’s representative for Bashlin Industries in Nebraska and Iowa. During Bashlin Industries and ESI’s first visit to campus in early September, the companies met with students to make sure they were using lineman gear properly as well as making sure the equipment fit them correctly. This included fall restraints, safety straps, belts, climbers and tools.

“The relationship both of these companies promote with many schools is to supply students with quality climbing gear and accessories,” commented MCC Powerline instructor Doug Curren. MCC owns, issues and recovers all tools at end of the second semester.

“MCC is unique and owns all the tools for the students to use,” commented ESI Brad Nobling. “Other schools have the student purchase a tool kit, made up of tools required by their instructors. The equipment is purchased by the students and then they take it with them when they graduate school and start their career.”

Both Bashlin Industries and ESI feel that it is important to make sure the students have a complete understanding of how to properly use the equipment. Bashlin Industries sends a staff member to the school to give students hands-on demonstrations, specifically on the climbing equipment.Powerline demonostrations

Along with the support of Bashlin Industries and ESI the second visit of the semester included Linn County REC. Again, all three companies were on campus for two days to help demonstrate the proper use of bucket rescue equipment. The two days included presentation and discussion on suspension trauma and products for helping mitigate the negative effects associated with it and proper fit and inspection of safety harnesses was discussed as well. Products for evacuating a stranded bucket or aerial work platform were discussed followed by bucket rescue device demonstrations.

“To have these three companies to campus and help with these classes is huge,” commented Curren. “They are committed to seeing the MCC program succeed. We appreciate their commitment to helping us out.”

As well as donating their time to help with demonstrations, Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) has donated materials to the MCC Powerline program. They are the biggest REC in the state.

When asking both ESI’s Nobling and Bashlin Industries’ Buddy Cadwell how they have felt their time at MCC and working with the students and the program have gone they had nothing but glowing remarks.

“I love dealing with people who are learning. MCC has been great so far and this is a growing program. The way the student are learning from Doug is similar to an apprenticeship,” said Cadwell.

“Doug and the MCC Powerline program have great relationships with the community and utilities around the area. The programs is moving forward and it’s a good time as the industry is blowing up. People are retiring from this industry and they need more workers in the power utility sector. MCC is doing it the right way.”

Nobling commented, “You can tell Doug is very passionate about this program and wants what is best for the students.  The students are our future in this industry and since there is a shortage of linemen now and even more so in the coming years, the more we can help them get the right start the better. The students were very attentive and respectful when we were going through the demonstration process and asked questions if they were not sure of something. We were very happy to see that.”

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