By THE VIRGIN ISLANDS WATER AND POWER AUTHORITY.
The V.I. Water and Power Authority announced Friday thirty of its employees graduated from a rigorous 3-year PowerLine Workers Apprenticeship Program to become fully certified electrical lineworkers.
According to WAPA, the program, certified by the U.S. Department of Labor is “designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of utility employees in this field,” according to Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG), a nonprofit organization providing strategic and technical training over the last 3 years to WAPA employees.
“The great thing about this program is it allows existing employees to expand their skillset through the utilization of industry best practices and safety standards. This program ensures lineworkers are qualified to perform their duties and equips them with the knowledge to perform their work safely,” said Ashley Bryan, director of Transmission and Distribution at the authority.
On St. Thomas, a collaboration with the University of the Virgin Islands provided the use of the Reichold Center for the Arts grounds to conduct training, while on St. Croix, the Agricultural Fair Grounds served as the primary training space, according to the release.
WAPA said as it continues to prioritize the safety of its employees and serve the community effectively, programs like the PowerLine Workers Apprenticeship help accomplish both goals.
“One of the most obvious components that directly impacts the success of an organization is its employees. Placing our team members in positions for continued growth and professional advancement is not only beneficial to the individual receiving the training, but also valuable in helping the Authority continue in a progressive direction," stated WAPA CEO Andrew Smith.
The authority extended its heartfelt congratulations to the newly certified Lineworkers. “This is a tremendous accomplishment and we are proud to have such highly skilled employees serving our community," said Sabrina King-Leonce, director of Human Resources.
According to the release, funding for employees to complete the program was provided through two grants awarded to WAPA by the U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs.