Village of Morrill uses DEED grant to fund student internship

The Village of Morrill, Neb., is using a $5,000 scholarship through the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Developments program (DEED) to fund an intern for its utility department.

Such internships provide a great opportunity for utilities to develop area student interest in energy careers and foster a utility talent pipeline for jobs that are singly difficult to fill.

Through the internship that began in January, Gavin Nuss, a student at Western Nebraska Community College’s Powerline Construction and Maintenance Technology program, serves as an apprentice who shadows a journeyman lineworker. He receives hands-on training, when applicable, in day-to-day operations of the electrical distribution system. Nuss’ duties includes completing wiring of a 277/480 voltage transformer bank and then writing a how-to manual on the project that other utilities could share with new interns or as a refresher course.

Nuss has learned how different types of utility services are applied in the field and developed skills in overhead and underground utility line construction. He also became proficient in climbing and gained an understanding of basic electrical principles, power line safety and safe utility work habits.

APPA’s DEED program offers three types of funding for students to pursue energy-related careers: Lineworker and technical education scholarships, student internships and student research grants. Student applicants must be attending or planning to attend an accredited vocational institution, lineworker school or a two- or four-year college within the U.S. and must not be graduating within 12 months of the application deadline.

DEED has two scholarship application cycles each year, with deadlines on Feb. 15 and Oct. 15. For more information on the DEED program, click here. The site also includes a short booklet on how utilities can use the DEED program to fund an internship.