Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC) has kicked off its second year of participating in the local program, Tradesformers. On Monday, June 14, they held a signing event where leaders welcomed two Pre-apprentice Lineworkers to the utility through the program. Isaiah Edwards and Malachi Wolf are rising seniors at J.H. Rose and Farmville Central High Schools respectively.
Tradesformers is a youth apprenticeship program designed to connect high school students with growing industry trades in our area. As an industry-led initiative started by local trades companies, program partners like GUC work closely with Pitt County Schools, Pitt Community College, and other community partners to address skills needs and gaps.
Students who join the program gain on-the-job training and related classroom instruction, all while earning a base pay rate and learning valuable skills to advance in their field of interest. To be a part of the Tradesformers program, students must be high school juniors and go through an application and selection process. Once in the program, students can apply to work as pre-apprentices at participating companies the summer before their senior school year. Throughout their senior year, pre-apprentices can continue to work up to 10-20 hours a week.
Greenville Utilities completed its first year of participating in the program in April 2021, when Pre-apprentice Seth Garris was hired full time at GUC as an Electric Lineworker Third Class. Garris finished his high school classes in December 2020 and walked with his fellow graduates at D.H. Conley High School in June 2021. He will continue his secondary education through GUC’s Lineworker Career Development Program (LCDP). The LCDP allows a lineworker to obtain an Associate of Applied Science Degree while maintaining full time employment.
“We’re excited to welcome Isaiah and Malachi into GUC as Pre-apprentice Lineworkers through our second year in the Tradesformers program,” said Chris Padgett, GUC’s Assistant General Manager/Chief Administrative Officer. “Having motivated and qualified people with a passion for the trades is essential at Greenville Utilities. The reason for today’s signing event is to celebrate Isaiah and Malachi’s decision to work in the trades, hopefully inspiring other young people to do the same.”
From left: Pre-apprentice Malachi Wolf, Lineworker Third Class Seth Garris, and Pre-apprentice Isaiah Edwards