Electric Line Tour

From left are NCC Dean of Continuing Education Carla Dunston, NCC Electric Line Programs Coordinator Melanie Driver, AIOF Co-Founder and President Brady Buckner, Shanessa Alston, Jenifer Wilkins, Maurice Wilkins, Lakisha Lynch, Christopher Lynch and AIOF Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Kimble.

Nash Community College and the FSIC American Innovation & Opportunity Fund are partnering to introduce young minority students in Halifax County to the Electric Line Construction curriculum and career opportunities in the utility sector.

Three prospective students and their parents visited NCC programs on June 4.

AIOF is a nonprofit that seeks to close the wealth gap in America by providing the underserved with access to jobs with above-average wages and potential for personal and financial success. One of its national programs, The AIOF Dream Creators Workforce Development Program, aims to assist recent high school graduates who are average students.

AIOF supports students attending Nash Community College’s five-week Underground Electric Line Construction Academy training program by assisting them financially, academically and helping the college prepare the students for careers following program completion.

The Underground Electric Line Construction Academy, which begins June 21 at Nash Community College, costs $700 per student. It is part of the Nash Community College Electric Line Construction curriculum that prepares students for careers in the utility industry.

“What we do is fill in the gaps,” AIOF’s Founder and CEO Kevin Kimble said. “We make sure the participants get everything they need to be prepared for school. We make sure they have the books they need and the pre-requisite driver’s license and the required DOT physical. We ensure they get to the site of the interview and the job. We support them every step of the process until they land the job. And when they land the job, we continue to provide a support system for them.”

Once students complete the underground course, they may be eligible for immediate job opportunities. Some students choose to continue into NCC’s 16-week Electric Line Construction Academy, which is offered in the spring and fall, to learn about overhead electric line construction. The cost for the 16-week academy is approximately $2,500.

Registration is open for both the underground and overhead academies, and seats are filling on a first-come, first-served basis. Students must be at least 18 years old.

Community leaders in Halifax County want the AIOF to continue to open doors for more Black youth.

“This is a breakthrough revelation that Kevin and Brady have brought to us,” said Rev. Charles McCollum, pastor of Promised Land Ministries in Halifax County. “It breaks the poverty cycle. It gives young people an opportunity to climb the ladder of success. It gives them an opportunity to create a lifestyle that has never existed in their family and it allows them to break through and break out. People who go to college for four years often do not make as much as they can make. This is just a wonderful program, and it speaks volumes. I welcome any opportunity to be involved in any way I can to aid this dream movement, so all youth have an opportunity to have a breakthrough.”

For more information about Nash Community College’s Electric Line Construction training program, contact Melanie Driver at 252-451-8206 or mpdriver074@nashcc.edu.