Offering the BEST combination of classroom and hands-on training
Dedicated in May 2019, the state-of-the-art Electric Cooperative Training Center in Palmyra, Va., east of Charlottesville, is an ideal learning environment for lineworkers, system operators, substation operators and other utility employees. It also serves as a central meeting place and a hardened sanctuary during major storms.
As technology changes, the need for training has grown by leaps and bounds. The number of training events has jumped 75 percent since 2016. Once, our training involved 14 weeks a year. Now, classes run as many as 45 weeks a year.
The 15 member systems of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives banded together to build the 9,600-square-foot center at a cost of $1.5 million. Central Virginia Electric Cooperative was very generous in making available the land adjacent to its Palmyra office for the new center, while other co-ops continue to contribute in a variety of ways.
Class sizes are usually about 10-15 students. Hundreds of students will pass through the center during any given year and add to the local economy. The building has three classrooms — one each named for Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Outside, several poles, wires, transformers and a substation give students a chance to learn in a safe environment.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The building also offers a full-service kitchen with a catering window, a break room, showers in the restrooms and a large garage bay for equipment demos and training during inclement weather.
An outstanding feature is the “Storm Soldier” statue developed by Arkansas sculptor Ron Moore. John C. Lee Jr., president and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, saw the artwork of a similar statue at another cooperative and was a leader in securing the 20-foot-tall statue for the center.