State-of-the-art electric line worker training facility opens

July 7, 2017

Patrick Higgins

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives (OEC) announced today that it will hold a grand opening ceremony and open house for its expanded and improved Central Ohio Linemen Training (COLT) Center, 5265 State Route 95, Mt. Gilead (43338), at 2 p.m., Monday, July 10. The new $1 million indoor training facility is located adjacent to Consolidated Electric Cooperative.

Click here to watch a brief video of linemen working in sync at the new COLT facility.

Ohio’s electric cooperatives are committed to providing line workers with workplace training and education that’s focused on safe work performance, using-up-to-date occupational practices and equipment. Ohio’s electric cooperatives network has invested in a 7,500-square-foot building expansion at COLT to provide a state-of-the-art indoor facility for training electric utility workers to efficiently and effectively install and repair power lines, with safety as the top priority. Since COLT’s 2004 inception, Ohio electric cooperatives have trained approximately 370 apprentice line workers and experienced a reduction in serious work-related injuries, at a time when industry averages for such injuries have increased. The COLT facility will enable the replication of on-the-job scenarios, and allow workers to learn best practices in a protected environment.

The addition to the COLT facility is equipped with:

  • 19 poles under roof— nine for climbing exercises, plus five with 3-phase line, and five with single-phase line, for de-energized and energized exercises using high-voltage, low-amperage transformers
  • Energized underground open-loop system with pad-mounted electrical equipment
  • Specialized training stations replicating actual equipment used in cooperative systems
  • Exhaust system allowing for indoor operation of diesel-powered trucks and equipment
  • In-floor radiant heating system
  • LED lighting

The COLT Center supplements the existing training center and 16-acre COLT Field, which includes:

  • Classroom space for teaching and testing
  • Outdoor overhead electric line system with four feeders and 50 wood pole structures
  • Underground open-loop system with three 3-phase risers and 20 cabinets/transformers
  • Storage building with concrete pad for line materials

“Linemen provide the most essential service that electric utilities offer – keeping the lights on,” said Pat O’Loughlin, president and CEO of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives, the not-for-profit generation, transmission, and statewide association that represents Ohio’s 25 electric cooperatives. “We have invested in a facility will allow linemen to develop and hone their skills in a controlled, state-of-the-art environment, under the guidance of tenured, professional instructors. Line workers’ families depend on each one of them to come home every night. The fact that there may not be a second chance to perform their job correctly in the real world makes the highest quality of training that we can provide a responsibility that we take very seriously.”