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News & Press: Electric

Lineworkers gather for advanced training at Carthage and Columbia

Thursday, July 12, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: mpuaonline
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TRANSFORMERS – they’re way more than a high-tech sci-fi movie or Hasbro toy…


Journeyman lineworkers from 15 cities came together in June to advance their knowledge of electrical transformers, as member cities Carthage and Columbia played host to Advanced Journeyman Training sessions.


The training sessions were held in Carthage on June 25 & 26, and were repeated in Columbia on June 28 & 29.  Columbia. The single-day classes were scheduled on two consecutive days at each location, to allow members to send lineworkers on separate days.


At the classes, lineworkers reviewed three-phase transformer connections and discussed methods for troubleshooting transformer banks, and other problems associated with municipal distribution systems. Some of the issues discussed in detail during the courses included the effects of harmonics on a system and a condition known as ferroresonance, that can pose risks to equipment and workers. Another hot topic of discussion was the possibility of backfeed caused by standby generators, as well as solar arrays and wind generation.


Those who came to the sessions said it was well worth the time. “Even for someone like me who has done linework 15 or 20 years, it was very informative,” explained Jeff Kinsley, Electric Department Supervisor at the City of St. Robert.  “On things like the do’s & don’ts on construction and troubleshooting, you always learn something new,” Kinsley said. “It was good to get into more about the technical side of transformer banks -- how you can set them up, and how to rate them for your service load.”


The training attracted a solid roster of participants, totaling 54 lineworkers representing 15 municipal electric systems. The Carthage sessions were attended by 26 crew members from seven cities (Carthage, Crane, Lamar, Monett, Mt. Vernon, Nixa, West Plains), while the Columbia sessions welcomed 28 workers from eight cities (Centralia, Columbia, Fulton, Houston, Odessa, Paris, Rolla, St. Robert).


The classes were led by MPUA’s crack team of lineworker training specialists -- Mike Conyers, MPUA’s Director of Lineworker Safety and Training, and Mark Mustain, Lineworker Safety and Training Coordinator. The two share a wealth of experience and knowledge with municipal lineworkers throughout the state.


Beyond the classroom, another good feature of the training is the opportunity to learn from utilities in other cities. “You have other people there, from other cities and utilities, who are dealing with different voltages, different setups,” said Kinsley. “You get practical help, not just from the teachers but also from the interaction of the other utility companies. You can ask, ‘How does another city deal with this? How do you approach that?’ That roundtable discussion aspect gets you even more input.”


If you have ideas for a subject or a speaker for a future training session, or questions about other MPUA training opportunities, please let MPUA know by calling 573-445-3279, or by emailing us at

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