Twenty-one new electrical linemen poised to accept high-paying jobs after only nine weeks of high-quality training

 Winston-Salem, N.C. – Forsyth Technical Community College is proud to graduate the 46th class of the Forsyth Tech Electrical Linemen Academy. Most of the 21 graduates have secured jobs and start to work as early as next week.

“Forsyth Tech is proud of our electrical lineman graduates, our instructors and the overall program,” said President of Forsyth Tech Janet N. Spriggs. “Through our community partnerships with Duke Energy, and the utility contractor companies, we have developed a quality instruction program that will provide a great foundation for these students to have a life-long career.”

Forsyth Tech offers a leading lineman program in the south. Since 2010, Forsyth Tech has trained more than 700 workers in the nine-week program. Forsyth Tech was one of the first colleges to start this type of program and is currently the only nationally certified line worker class in North Carolina. It offers five, nine-week sessions per year, with 24 students per session. The programs fill up months in advance and have an extensive waiting list.

“There are few jobs where a student right out of high school can take a nine-week program and get a job making $18 to start, with full benefits and a retirement plan,” said Josh Burcham, director, Technical Skills Program, Economic and Workforce Development. “If they stick with the job and become a journeyman lineman, they can be making $40 an hour within about five years. Now, especially lineman jobs are in high demand as older workers are retiring.”

An interesting highlight during the graduation, was John Palmer, who was accompanied by three uncles and a cousin who are also linemen. Their family has a long history of linemen beginning with Palmer’s grandfather, John Ed Brown who worked for Pike Electric. Palmer’s relatives were visiting North Carolina from Florida and heard it was Palmer’s graduation so they all came to the ceremony. Palmer said, “This is a great career opportunity especially with my family’s experience and history in the field.”

The graduation ceremony was held October 9, 2019, at the Northwest Forsyth Center in King, N.C. Forsyth Tech has nine campus locations throughout Forsyth and Stokes counties. The Northwest Forsyth Center in King is a state-of-the-art facility for basic law enforcement training, emergency medical training, and criminal justice technology and forensics.

Students or employers interested in learning more about the Forsyth Tech Electrical Linemen Academy can contact Tim Webb, adjunct instructor, at or call 336-757-73076. For more information about Forsyth Technical Community College, please visit or call 336-734-7023.

Brown Palmer family

Caption:   Adding another lineman to the Brown/Palmer family, are from left: Robert Brown (uncle), Clay Brown (cousin), Sam Brown (uncle), John Palmer and Brad Brown (uncle).

All 21 Forsyth Tech linemen graduates on the poles waving to family members

Caption: All 21 Forsyth Tech linemen graduates on the poles waving to family members.

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in over 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.  For additional information, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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