Two Tipmont REMC lineworkers, Sam Headlee and Eli Smith, alongside eleven others from around the state, graduated Saturday, Jan. 28, from Indiana Electric Cooperatives’ apprenticeship program, Rural Electric Apprentice Program (REAP).
Both Smith and Headlee have been with Tipmont since February 2012. Smith is based in the northern service territory while Headlee is based in the southern territory. Five other Tipmont apprentice lineworkers are currently enrolled in the program.
"Lineworkers are the fundamental piece of operations and their commitment to Tipmont's membership is outstanding.” said Scot Price, Operations Manager for Tipmont REMC. “We are proud to have these dedicated individuals as part of the Tipmont family."
REAP is a four-year program that professionally trains apprentice lineworkers from across Indiana. Graduates complete 576 hours of classroom-related study and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training at their electric cooperative. Students also complete four additional classes through Ivy Tech Community College. Upon completion of the program, graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science and a journeyman lineman certificate.
The other program graduates are:
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.