Log In

Reset Password

Catherine Pendergast Climbs To New Heights With Eversource’s Lineworker Certification



Text Size

A lot of folks have dreams of reaching new heights in a career — or climbing to the top at one’s job. Newtown’s Catherine Pendergast is taking these goals quite literally.

Pendergast, 20, found herself off the ground and most of the way up several 45 foot-tall utility poles while studying for her Eversource Lineworker Certificate. Her training took place at Hartford’s Capital Community College (CCC) and Eversource’s Berlin training yard, in conjunction with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Locals 420 and 457 .

In mid-June, Pendergast graduated from the 11-week program as one of four women in the class — and is on her way to becoming a certified lineworker.

“The pole climbing was my favorite part of the course and I loved cheering on my classmates. We all helped each other out,” Pendergast said. “I also enjoyed learning where electricity comes from and understanding the path it takes to get to your house — things that people don’t think about every day when it comes to their energy use.”

The Newtowner was among the second class of students in Eversource’s Electric Lineworker Program celebrating their graduation from the program and collecting their certificates. The diverse class of 15 students represented communities throughout the state, and included more women than ever before.

Members of this latest group of grads are ready to start careers in the electric utility industry right in their own backyard, maintaining and strengthening the electric system, restoring power after storms, and helping to build the clean energy grid of the future, according to an Eversource release.

“Many of our [current] lineworkers are reaching retirement age so there is a true need for qualified workers in the electric operations industry,” said Steve Driscoll, Eversource’s Vice President of Operation Services. “It’s crucial that we replenish our workforce to maintain a safe and reliable electric system for our customers, and our partnership with CCC on this program is an important part of our continued efforts to reach out to young people in our Connecticut communities and offer them excellent career opportunities.”

“I’m excited for the teamwork and bonding. I’ve always heard that being part of a trade is like having another family, and it’s true — my classmates are basically brothers and sisters to me now,” Pendergast said. “Even though a lot of our classes were online, we had a group chat and got to know each other that way and then of course in person, in the classroom.”

While Pendergast is joining a trade that’s male-dominated, she isn’t intimidated.

“I’m actually really excited to compete with all the boys and show them what I can do,” she said. Pendergast and the graduates will now begin interviewing for linehelper positions in Eversource’s Apprentice School.

This is going to be a career I plan to do for the rest of my life, and I will go to school if needed to get into the supervising position,” Pendergast said. “I think what is most interesting about this work is that you aren’t always in the same place. You get to meet new people and you can see all types of different work and places.”

Next Class Scheduled

The next class of aspiring lineworkers is training now in a program that concludes on September 22.

Cost for the training is $2,400. A payment plan is available, along with possible scholarships. Students are also required to purchase fire retardant clothing and boots.

To qualify for the program, candidates must be at least 18 years old, and must hold a high school diploma/GED (a college transcript can be used in lieu of the diploma).

Qualifying trainees must also possess a driver’s license or the ability to obtain one. Students will be expected to get a CDL license if hired into a Line Helper position with Eversource. They must have an ability to work at heights in nearly all weather conditions, and must pass testing required for the program, background check, and drug screen.

Additionally, students must have a computer/laptop and access to the Internet as many classes will be held virtually due to COVID. For more information, visit capitalcc.edu/support-services/eversource-lineworker-certificate-program/


Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Catherine Pendergast completed the Eversource Lineworker Certificate Program with Capital Community College in Hartford. —photo courtesy Eversource
Catherine Pendergast, second from left, was among the students who climbed telephone poles as part of their 11-week training. —photo courtesy Eversource
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply