Michigan Works! Helps Aspiring Lineman Gain Certifications & Increase His Employability


Patrick came to Michigan Works! in April of this year seeking tuition assistance for the Utility Line Clearance Arborist course at Alpena Community College. He had learned of the program and its first summer cohort through the Dean of Admissions at ACC while waiting to begin the "cousin" to the program, the already popular Utility Tech. Patrick’s funds were spread thin, as he was already registered for fall classes, but after learning about the Utility Line Clearance Arborist course he knew he had to take it. Not only would it give him additional knowledge and experience in a related field, but it would also give him a leg up on the competition in his current career path.


Patrick had just graduated from high school and had little work experience. He also was financially strapped and was struggling to afford tuition and housing, especially considering his commute from Otsego county. The Michigan Works! MiLEAP program was able to cover the majority of his tuition costs to attend the Utility Arborist course and additionally, he received climbing boots and safety glasses through Support Services. This assistance allowed Patrick to focus on paying for his housing, while providing him the safety gear necessary to participate safely in the course.


Thanks to the Utility Line Clearance Arborist course, Patrick acquired the climbing, commercial driving, and safety skills that will make him stand out in the linesman field. He also gained additional knowledge in tree trimming and line clearance, and obtained his CDL commercial learning permit, OSHA 10 certificate and CPR AED & First Aid certification. In addition, he is close to passing his state exam for Pesticide Application.


During his participation in the course, Patrick was a model student and MiLEAP participant, demonstrating courage, patience, safety and responsibility throughout the program. His exemplary rise to the top of his class was rewarded with an immediate job offer at a local tree service in Alpena, MI, where he is now currently employed part-time as he continues his education. Patrick holds steadfast to his goal of apprenticeship with Consumers Energy and has proven himself highly employable and sought after with his hard work and dedication.