On April 23, apprentice line workers with DTE Energy installed three 10-foot utility poles at Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast, 5155 Delamere Ave. in Royal Oak.
With an anticipated shortage of skilled trade labor and the importance of hands-on training in the energy industry, DTE donated the training utility poles so metro Detroit high schoolers who may be interested in becoming apprentice line workers can get a feel for what the career entails.
Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast’s Energy Electrical Technical program educates high school students in energy careers, and the training utility poles will provide experience for a career path that cannot be taught virtually during a pandemic.
The DTE Energy Foundation previously awarded $25,000 to the Oakland Schools Education Foundation for utility pole climbing equipment and harnesses.
Tom Randazzo, OSTCS’s electric and energy instructor, said most of the students at the technical campus are not college bound.
“It’s a big fallacy that you have to go to college to get a good paying job, which is what most everybody’s been taught to believe,” Randazzo said. “We know there’s going to be a shortage of skilled trades jobs in the near future, and we know that there’s a lot of students who graduate from high school who are looking for good paying jobs.”