Aging utility technicians creating job opportunities across Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Utility companies across the metro are facing losing almost half of their workforce in the next five years because of retirements. As of right now, they won't have enough qualified applicants to fill those positions.

Many of these utility line technicians respond to disaster areas, as well.

You can't be scared of heights, and you have to be willing to work in extreme heat or cold to take the job. But you'll have job security -- unlike many other professions.

Apprentice electric utility line technicians at Metropolitan Community College are almost guaranteed a job when they graduate.

Garrett Hahn works for a utility company based in Cameron, Mo., but the work has taken him all over the country.

He's traveled 1,400 miles from home to Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and, most recently, Long Island, N.Y., during Superstorm Sandy. He spent a week replacing poles and restoring power.

"We started working in a hurricane and a few days later we were working in a snow storm. It's pretty rewarding that you can do something like that," Hahn said.

Susan Blaser, line program coordinator at MCC, said they can't train technicians fast enough.

"It's a skilled craft. I'm registered in Washington DC, and I can go anywhere in the United States and outside the United States and have a job tomorrow," Blaser said.

In Missouri, the median wage for a starting year lineman is more than $52,000. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/Txspvl
 

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