High school teens learn about careers at Tri-State

About 1,600 high school students from across Colorado attending the 10th annual Colorado Construction and Energy Career Days expo held this week (Sept 25-26) at the Adams County Fairgrounds north of Denver were given a little taste of employment opportunities that may someday await them at Tri-State.

Eric York, Tri-State lineman, demonstrates pole climbing to high school group at Construction Career Days event.

Several staff members of the association’s training and maintenance groups were on hand to provide pole climbing demonstrations, explain some of the lineman’s tools of the trade, show how a substation works and even entertain the kids with a science experiment.

Construction Career Days is an industry sponsored event for high school students, grades 10 through 12, aimed at offering teens a glimpse of the diversity of jobs available in construction, engineering, architecture and the energy industry.  Also representing the energy industry at the career days expo was Xcel Energy and Tri-State member United Power (Brighton, Colo.).

Tri-State staffed two demonstration sites at this year’s youth event. A lineman’s hot stick trailer was set up in one location, where students listened to a presentation from Eric York on what it is like to be a lineman. The Tri-State lineman also provided a pole climbing demonstration and explained how fiberglass hot sticks allow maintenance personnel to safely work on energized lines.

Jim Duffy shows students how to create a battery in a science experiment.

At the second location, Tri-State trainers Robert Rodela and Jim Duffy showcased and explained the association’s mobile substation simulator trailer that is used for training apprentice substation personnel and engaged and amused some of the students by conducting a science experiment that showed how a battery can be created by combining a few basic elements and household items.

Many of the companies represented at this event are in the construction industry and students were also offered a rare opportunity to try hands-on projects such as wiring an electrical box, pipe-fitting, welding, a nail hammering contest and a chance to operate heavy equipment and machinery.

The career days event attracts high school students from more than 30 Colorado school districts across the state.

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