Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are partnering with KCTCS

Students climb utility poles at the Lineman Training Center in Somerset, one of educational offerings at Somerset Community College. Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are partnering with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in their mission to provide knowledge to lead these students to better jobs and better lives.

Utilies, community colleges team up for jobs program

SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – An unique partnership between the state’s 16 community colleges and a group of electric cooperatives is training the next generation of linemen for jobs.

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are partnering with KCTCS in their mission to provide knowledge to lead these students to better jobs and better lives

Whether the education involved is for electrical technology, nursing, dental hygiene, computer and information technology, computerized manufacturing, drone piloting or a myriad of other subjects, KCTCS is committed to putting each student on the road to a brighter future.

“We’ve created a learning environment that is in tune with the unique needs and aspirations of every student and each of the communities we serve,” said Jay Box, President of KCTCS.

An example of one of those programs is the KCTCS Lineman Training program in Maysville, Hazard and Somerset. Hundreds of people have completed the eight-week program and have been placed in lineman jobs across Kentucky and all over the United States

“Like most of our short-term programs, students can complete this training in weeks, not years, and many students in the lineman training program have jobs waiting for them,” Box said. “This is another example of how we’re living our mission of improving the lives and employability of Kentuckians.”

Dean Rhodes, Coordinator of the Lineman Training Center in Somerset, said the students who go through the program are motivated to succeed.

“One young man slept in his car in the parking lot. He didn’t have the money for a motel or gas money to drive home and he was too proud to tell us,” Rhodes said. “He left with everybody else and then came back and slept in his car. We found out and took care of him. He was employed straight out of the program and was doing very well last time I checked.”

That’s the mission for everything that is done at KCTCS and for Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives: improve the quality of life. To learn more, go to

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives include 17 not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives that serve more than 1 million Kentucky residents across 87 Kentucky counties.

They include:

  • Big Sandy RECC, Paintsville, Ky.
  • Blue Grass Energy, Nicholasville, Ky.
  • Clark Energy Cooperative, Winchester, Ky.
  • Cumberland Valley Electric, Gray, Ky.
  • Farmers RECC, Glasgow, Ky.
  • Fleming-Mason Energy, Flemingsburg, Ky.
  • Grayson RECC, Grayson, Ky.
  • Inter-County Energy Cooperative, Danville, Ky.
  • Jackson Energy Cooperative, McKee, Ky.
  • Licking Valley RECC, West Liberty, Ky.
  • Nolin RECC, Elizabethtown, Ky.
  • Owen Electric Cooperative, Owenton, Ky.
  • Salt River Electric, Bardstown, Ky.
  • Shelby Energy Cooperative, Shelbyville, Ky.
  • South Kentucky RECC, Somerset Ky.
  • Taylor County RECC, Campbellsville, Ky.
  • East Kentucky Power Cooperative

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