August has been an exciting month for some of our linemen here at DTE. A lot of hard work has just paid off as another class of apprentices graduated on Aug. 8. We celebrate these individuals on this major career achievement.
There were 10 apprentices that just “topped out” or graduated out of apprentice status to journeyman. Their class began Aug. 6, 2018. The apprenticeship is a 4-year program with a minimum of 7,760 hours worked. Their progression to journeyman lineman was effective Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. Apprentices at DTE receive a competitive hourly wage while they get on-the-job training from a journeyman, along with classroom training.
It has been a long four years, but these workers have made a big career step and, as you can imagine, there was some celebrating to do.
“You better believe it,” Nick, a current apprentice out of the Pontiac service center, said when asked if the guys threw a party. “We have had that night planned for a long time.”
Each lineman or journeyman, at some point, started as an apprentice. Like in high school or a sports program, there are groups or classes of apprentices every year that “graduate” together. They come up the system together learning the skills of the trade. The bond between linemen is a strong one. It is one built over many hours doing dangerous, demanding work in a complicated trade.
“We all went to TopGolf when we topped out,” Mike, a lineman who got his journeyman card two years ago, said. “Our whole class went and our families, plus a bunch of the journeymen we had worked with coming up. We all get pretty close working together, and our party was a blast.”
We at DTE appreciate the people who work so hard to keep our power on and want to congratulate these workers on their huge career milestone.
You may see more of our crews in the coming months as part of our accelerated electric reliability projects in your area, including more tree trimming and infrastructure updates. All these projects are underway to improve your service and reliability for the short and long term.
Make sure to regularly check the Livonia community page to learn more about what’s going on in your neighborhood. You can also follow DTE on Facebook and Twitter for even more updates and information.