Austin Fecht was working in a dead-end second-shift job and wanted something more. He talked with friends who were electric line technicians and thought it could be a good career choice, so he enrolled at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.
In one year, Austin completed a technical diploma and qualified for a line technician apprenticeship with Alliant Energy. He continued to work second-shift while taking classes.
“I liked the hands-on training,” he says. “It helped me understand what the work is all about and taught me what I needed to get the apprenticeship.”
Now, Austin spends his days working with journeymen and learning from them.
“There are some restrictions and safety concerns that limit what I can do,” he explained. Austin helps with grounding work, passes tools to the journeyman and works on buried utility lines. In the first year of a three-and-a-half-year apprenticeship he’s already making more than he did in his previous job. He likes working outdoors too.
In addition to learning from experienced line workers, he travels to Fond du Lac for training provided by his employer.
“Electrical Power Distribution is a good program,” Austin concluded. “All my coworkers from around the state have good things to say about their technical college experience.”