Nov 15, 2019 | Foundation

Columbia State, CPWS Announce Partnership

Columbia State with CPWS Representatives
Photo Caption: (Standing, left to right): Doug Burgess, CPWS vice president of power operations; Dr. Dearl Lampley, Columbia State vice president of Williamson Campus and external services; LK Browning, Columbia State director of economic and workforce development; Bethany Lay, Columbia State vice president for advancement and executive director of the Columbia State Foundation; Kelley McCall, CPWS executive vice president; and Chris Henson, Columbia State development officer. (Sitting, left to right): Scott Dahlstrom, CPWS president and CEO; and Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Nov. 15, 2019) - - -Columbia State Community College and Columbia Power and Water Systems announced a partnership that is the first step in the development of a Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Academy through Columbia State’s Office of Workforce and Continuing Education. 

Columbia Power and Water Systems will erect and maintain a pole yard on the Columbia Campus this fall for the first Lineworker class to begin Spring 2020. The Tennessee Valley Public Power Producers Association will provide a certified instructor for the pole climbing portion of the course. Throughout the seven-week course, participants will climb poles, obtain first aid training, earn an OSHA 10-hour safety card, earn a flagging certification and will prepare to test for a commercial driver’s license.

“We’re solidifying a partnership that will help individuals in this community,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. “This partnership provides a place for CPWS to train their own workers, as well as assist in the training of others who could be future CPWS employees.” 

“We consider this a great opportunity,” said Scott Dahlstrom, CPWS president and CEO. “It’s a great way for industry and education to partner together. This supports what we do, gives us great training and gives us a great pool of employees. It’s going to be a great thing for our community.”

For additional information about this or other continuing education courses through  Columbia State’s Office of Workforce and Continuing Education, visit

To learn more about CPWS at