Duke Energy's Midwest Lineman's Rodeo qualifies 15 local lineworkers to compete in international event

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  • Midwest Lineman's Rodeo tests job skills critical to power delivery and restoration
  • International rodeo competition featuring the world's top lineworkers to be held Oct. 19 in Bonner Springs, Kan.

PLAINFIELD, Ind., April 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- At a competition powered by skill and packed with competitors, 15 Duke Energy lineworkers secured spots over the weekend to compete among the most elite lineworkers in the world this fall at the International Lineman's Rodeo.

(PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)

Duke Energy's Midwest Lineman's Rodeo in Plainfield was one of three regional lineman's rodeos taking place this spring across Duke Energy's service areas, displaying the talent and skills of the company's dedicated lineworkers. Lineman's rodeos are specialized contests that test job-related skills line technicians rely on daily to restore power day and night – often in unpredictable outdoor conditions. Events take place on de-energized equipment in a simulated environment, but participants are scored based on simulations of on-the-job work, with deductions for mistakes. Competitors are judged on efficiency, agility, technique and safety procedures.

Categories scored included equipment repair, pole climbs and hurt man rescues. Duke Energy holds three regional competitions to qualify lineworkers for the international competition – including in the Carolinas, Florida and the Midwest.

The Midwest rodeo this year included four journeyman teams and 33 apprentices. Team divisions are based in part on tenure. An apprentice is a lineworker with less than four years of utility experience. A journeyman with Duke Energy has more than four years of utility experience.

"Our lineworkers are always prepared for any circumstance, but the extreme elements associated with storms, oppressive heat and bitterly cold temperatures can add challenges," said Scott Batson, chief power grid officer at Duke Energy. "We are able to keep the lights on for millions of customers who depend on us thanks to our line teams' dedication to training, experience in the field, passion for their craft and supporting one another."

Elevated expertise

Duke Energy Midwest regional rodeo winners will join other top lineworkers from Duke Energy rodeos in Florida and the Carolinas to compete in the International Lineman's Rodeo in Bonner Springs, Kan., on Oct. 19, an international event that attracts the most talented lineworkers from around the world. The best lineworkers at Duke Energy and its legacy companies have showcased their talents at the International Lineman's Rodeo for more than two decades.

Duke Energy Midwest competitors advancing from regional rodeos to the International Lineman's Rodeo include:

Apprentice overall awards

  • First placeOliver Huhta (Princeton, Ind.)
  • Second placeLogan Pollei (Bloomington, Ind.)
  • Third placeJack Knier (Shelbyville, Ind.)
  • Fourth place Tyler Adrian (Carmel, Ind.)
  • Fifth place Isaac Caudill (Connersville, Ind.)
  • Sixth place Jesse Orr (Bloomington, Ind.)

Journeyman teams overall awards 

  • First placeBrett Lewis (Madison, Ind.), TJ Lewis (Aurora, Ind.) and Danny Steinman (Erlanger, Ky.)
  • Second placeCollin Boschert (Noblesville, Ind.), Matt Wallpe (Noblesville, Ind.) and Jason Washburn (Noblesville, Ind.)
  • Third placeJohn Menefee (Columbus, Ind.), Josh Menefee (Seymour, Ind.) and Andrew Reinhart (Seymour, Ind.)

Duke Energy employs approximately 380 lineworkers across its Indiana service area.

Powering the future grid

Lineworkers play a key role in power grid improvement projects that help modernize and strengthen Duke Energy's system against storms and other impacts, making it more reliable and resilient. This can include work to upgrade lines and poles, underground outage-prone lines where data indicates it makes sense to do so, and enhancing grid reliability through the integration of smart, self-healing technology.

Hiring and developing entry-level craft and skilled talent is critical to address the growing needs of residential and nonresidential customers. Duke Energy continues to hire lineworker talent and works closely with community colleges across its company footprint to recruit diverse, skilled candidates. Individuals interested in a lineworking career with Duke Energy should contact community colleges directly for more information on their specific lineworker training programs, including available funding for tuition. 

"Safely powering our customers and communities is the most important job we have," said Batson. "We are proud to be able to source extraordinary talent through our community college partners to join our line teams and serve as ambassadors for the company with our customers."

Duke Energy Indiana

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), provides about 6,800 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 900,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana's largest electric supplier.

Contact: McKenzie Barbknecht

24-Hour: 800.559.3853

 

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SOURCE Duke Energy

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