For Immediate Release: March 8, 2024

Students celebrated at inaugural graduation for SMUD/IBEW Lineworker Scholarship Program

Trainees in safety gear preparing to climb utility poles at the Sacramento Power Academy.

On Sunday, SMUD will celebrate the achievements of the inaugural graduating class of the Lineworker Scholarship Program in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245. The ceremony and climbing demonstration mark the culmination of an intensive training designed to equip the 26 graduates with essential skills to enter and thrive in apprenticeship programs in a variety of utility trades and ultimately clean energy careers.

Visuals: Graduation ceremony and climbing demonstration by trainees of the SMUD Lineworker Training Scholarship Program

When: Sunday, March 10, 2024, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Sacramento Power Academy, 9268 Tokay Lane, Sacramento

Who: 26 graduating students and their families, SMUD CEO and General Manager Paul Lau, Board Vice President Gregg Fishman, Board member Dave Tamayo and other leaders and representatives with SMUD, IBEW 1245, Grid Alternatives and the California Conservation Corps

Trainees climbing utility poles at the Sacramento Power Academy.

"This graduation celebrates the unwavering dedication and hard work displayed by all the graduates throughout the program," said SMUD CEO and General Manager Paul Lau. "Their readiness to step into high-wage careers in the utility industry supports SMUD's bold vision for a clean energy future. Our commitment during this energy transition builds inclusive workforce and education opportunities and invites every community to reap the benefits of our ongoing journey of sustainability and clean energy innovation.”

“We’re incredibly proud to partner with SMUD on this ground-breaking program,” said IBEW Local 1245 Business Manager Bob Dean. “On behalf of IBEW 1245 and our executive board, our heartfelt congratulations to each and every graduate. This is a life-changing opportunity, and we look forward to seeing you grow and thrive as you continue down the path towards becoming Journeymen and joining us in our IBEW family.”

The SMUD Lineworker Scholarship Program provides participants with foundational training in pole climbing techniques, proper tool usage, safety protocols, equipment installation on wood poles and ground work. The curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning, ensuring real-world experience and offering participants with a competitive edge for linework apprenticeship programs. The program includes a paid stipend and certificate of completion.

About SMUD

As the nation’s sixth-largest, community-owned, not-for-profit electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity to Sacramento County for more than 75 years. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. Today, SMUD’s power supply is on average about 50 percent carbon free and SMUD has a goal to reach zero carbon in its electricity production by 2030.