Alliant Energy says its going to need some extra hands to keep the lights on.
The company says half of its linemen will be retiring within the next ten years. It takes up to four years to train a new lineman and so Alliant is starting now.
It takes about four years to train a new lineman. Alliant says its working to get the word out about the need. Fortunately, experts say it's not difficult getting people interested in these jobs, especially in these tough times.
"There are jobs. Good middle class, middle income jobs for when they get out," explains Sharon Kennedy, Blackhawk Technical College Vice President.
"These positions offer excellent opportunities for people who that like to operate equipment, like to build things, like to work outside," says Bob Gutschenritter, Alliant Energy Regional Director.
Alliant is teaming up with Blackhawk Tehnical College to help train new workers. The company donated $50 thousand to the school over the summer. That allowed Blackhawk to double its lineman training program.
However, even with those extra spaces, there is still waiting list to get into the program. Blackhawk Technical College says the average student in its lineman program is around 26 years old. It says many laidoff workers in the area are showing an interest in the program.