Funding will help double the enrollment in the Electric Power Distribution Program
JANESVILLE, WI – June 3, 2008 – Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), an Alliant
Energy company, announced today that it will provide a $50,000 grant to the Blackhawk
Technical College Foundation that will double the size of the college’s Electric Power
Distribution Program. The grant was officially presented to Blackhawk Technical College
officials at a ceremony this morning held in the college’s Student Services Center building
Alliant Energy’s financial support will allow Blackhawk Technical College to add an additional
session for the program and support the hiring of an instructor to teach the new afternoon class.
Alliant Energy has also agreed to supply nine, 40-foot electric poles and to help the college find
a part-time lab assistant among its retiree group for the program.
“Alliant Energy strongly supports the occupational training goals of Blackhawk Technical
College and we see great value in expanding high-quality educational offerings like the Electric
Power Distribution Program,” said John Kratchmer, WPL Vice President of Energy Delivery.
“Electric utilities continue to need apprentice line technicians and increasing the number of
students in this program will be of great benefit to businesses and to the young people that will
start down the path of an exciting and lucrative career.”
The $50,000 Alliant Energy grant will provide the opportunity for Blackhawk Technical College
to add a second parallel session to the Electric Power Distribution Program. The new class will
take place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, following the same schedule and curriculum as the
current morning session. Like the morning session, the afternoon session will have 18 students,
thereby giving the college the ability to train 36 people at the same time, which will help greatly
in alleviating the waiting list of applicants for the program.
“We are delighted that Alliant Energy is providing funding to expand our Electric Power
Distribution Program and the training opportunities for people in Rock and Green Counties,”
said Eric Larson, President of Blackhawk Technical College. “We currently have about 50
people on the waiting list for the program and these additional dollars will assist more
candidates in gaining access to a high-demand program and a great long-term career
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Alliant Energy to provide $50,000 grant to Blackhawk Technical College
June 3, 2008
Students that complete the two-semester Electric Power Distribution Program at Blackhawk
Technical College can pursue a variety of careers. These include: electric utility lineman, cable
maintenance technicians, equipment operators, telephone repairman, cable TV installers, line
inspectors, substation operators or cable splicers.
“Alliant Energy believes in the strength and viability of the Rock County region,” said Anne Lutz,
WPL Southeast Regional Director of Customer Operations. “This area’s success is built on a
solid foundation of industrial know-how and entrepreneurial spirit and we want to support this
area’s workforce training efforts.”
Alliant Energy and other utility companies are encouraging graduates of the program to join their
businesses as apprentice line technicians, given that Wisconsin is experiencing a shortage of
trained line technicians. Line technicians install, maintain and repair overhead and underground
high voltage power lines and systems for the distribution and transmission of electrical power. It
is not uncommon for apprentice line technicians to earn $48,000 to $60,000 annually and they
can become journey line technicians and earn even more.
“With nearly 50 percent of Alliant Energy’s workforce being eligible to retire over the next 10
years, and with many of those individuals being in technical positions, our company sees
firsthand the importance of supporting programs like these,” added Kratchmer. “As businesses,
we must invest in education now to make sure we have a strong future workforce.”
Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and 400,000 natural gas
customers. Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electric and natural gas service is the company’s primary
focus. Wisconsin Power and Light, the company’s Wisconsin utility subsidiary, serves approximately 450,000 electric and
175,000 natural gas customers. Alliant Energy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is a Fortune 1000 company traded on the New
York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.alliantenergy.com.
Blackhawk Technical College is dedicated to meeting the occupational training needs of its District residents (Green and Rock
Counties) through educational offerings and services, designed for people preparing to enter the labor market, upgrading skills
to retain or advance in their present occupations, and/or retraining for new occupations in accord with personal goals or
changing technology. BTC provides comprehensive, high-quality educational offerings which are appropriate to current labor
market needs. These include “credit” programs leading toward a degree, diploma, or certificate.