High school students LEAP forward with Alabama Power program

High school students LEAP forward with Alabama Power program
Alabama Power brings its LEAP program to high school students. (contributed)

Today’s students are tomorrow’s future, and for the energy industry it is essential to develop a workforce pipeline equipped with knowledge and technical expertise.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineering jobs are expected to grow 6% from 2020 to 2030, with most of the demand in infrastructure, renewable energy, oil and gas, and robotics.

To help prepare students for successful engineering or lineworker careers, Alabama Power developed LEAP (Linemen, Engineers and Apprentice Programs), which connects Alabama Power and Southern Company employees with high school students to give them important information.

Alabama Power offers Linemen, Engineers and Apprentice Programs (LEAP) from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Targeting those who aren’t sure which direction to take after graduation, LEAP exposes students to the energy industry by providing an understanding of the company and career opportunities. LEAP mentors share their career experiences, education and training needed prior to applying, tips for job interviews and more.

“It takes a lot of equipment to keep the power on,” said Alabama Power Engineer Jake Sloan. “We want to be reliable because there is a lot of important things that depend on power. So, when issues arise with equipment, I’m one of the ones who go out and fix it.”

“My favorite part of the job is serving,” said Alabama Power Lineman Ladarrius Clay. “We take for granted electricity – we always expect when you flip the switch, the lights will come on and that’s not always the case. Being able to serve people by bringing back that need is my favorite part of the job.”

LEAP mentors advise students on how to think about their future careers, develop a career plan and map out steps to ensure success.

Since the program began in 2007, more than 60,000 students have engaged through the LEAP program and career planning events.

“We work mostly with career coaches in the Birmingham area,” said Danielle Hall, Alabama Power transmission lines engineer and LEAP chairperson. “We communicate with them throughout the school year to maintain relationships or meet new coaches.”

Click here to learn more about the program by contacting a representative.

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