Blue Ridge Energy Donates Retired Line Truck to CCC&TI’s Electrical Lineworker Institute

LENOIR, NC (December 2, 2022) — Blue Ridge Energy has donated a retired digger derrick line truck to Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Electrical Lineworker Institute to help train future line technicians.

The truck is used to dig holes, set power poles and work with various materials such as transformers and cross arms in the daily work of a line technician to provide reliable electricity. While the truck was retired from Blue Ridge Energy’s fleet of vehicles after being used for a number of years, it has the capacity and technology to provide valuable experience for those enrolled in CCC&TI’s lineworker program.

L to R: Alan Merck, Chief Operating Officer, Blue Ridge Energy; Dr. Mark Barber, Associate Dean of Vocational and Technical Studies, CCC&TI; Marty Walker, Coordinator of Energy Programs at CCCTI; Doug Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Ridge Energy; Dr. Mark Poarch, President, CCC&TI; Liz Silvers, Vice President of Instruction, CCC&TI; Brandy Dunlap, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development; CCC&TI; and Dr. Jason Chaffin, Chief of Staff, CCC&TI.

“This is a great addition to our program and provides new equipment to help better prepare our students for a successful career as a line technician,” said Marty Walker, Coordinator, Energy Programs, CCC&TI.

The 14-week Electrical Lineworker Institute prepares students to become an apprentice for a Journeyman Lineman, a well-paying, high demand career field. CCC&TI’s program is highly competitive, drawing students from across the country. Graduates secure jobs with utilities such as Blue Ridge Energy and other electric cooperatives across the state as well as Duke Energy, municipalities, and utility contractors across the nation.

“We’re very pleased to be able to support our local community and be a part of training local students for an excellent career field,” said Doug Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Ridge Energy. “This program is training a lot of local young men and women for a job with excellent pay and benefits, and we’ve hired a number of graduates from this program now working for Blue Ridge Energy. Our community is fortunate this program is available here in Caldwell County.”

“Blue Ridge Energy continues to be one of our most important partners,” said Dr. Mark Poarch, President of CCC&TI. “For more than a decade, they’ve helped make CCC&TI’s Electrical Lineworker program one of the best in the country. The latest donation is just another example of why community partnerships matter so much.”

With campuses in Hudson and Boone, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute offers hundreds of programs designed to fit any schedule, including more than 75 curriculum programs and a variety of Continuing Education, Workforce Development and Adult Education programs. For information on CCC&TI, visit

Blue Ridge Electric serves some 78,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, and parts of Wilkes, Avery and Alexander counties. Its propane and fuels subsidiary serves customers in the cooperative’s service area as well as Burke, Catawba, and Grayson County, Va. Learn more at

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