Riley Christensen LPEA Lineman
Three apprentices “Journey out” at La Plata Electric Association
Christensen, Messier and Mortensen complete cooperative’s four-year program
Durango, Colo. – Riley Christensen, Michael Messier and Ty Mortensen of La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) have “journeyed out” and completed the Lineman Apprenticeship program, earning their Journeyman Lineman Certification. They join the ranks of the professionals responsible for constructing and maintaining electric power distribution lines and facilities.
“We congratulate Riley, Michael and Ty on achieving Journeyman Lineman status,” said Justin Talbot, manager of operations. “Our linemen play an essential role. They’re the ones maintaining the system and out there literally on the front lines getting the power back on in all types of conditions. With this top-notch training program, LPEA can continue to provide our members with safe, reliable electricity.”
A hunter and fisherman, Christensen is from Monte Vista, Colo. He hails from a heritage of linemen, and is now the fourth generation of Journeyman Linemen in his family, continuing the tradition.
Messier, an avid outdoorsman born and raised in Del Norte, Colo., studied at Fort Lewis College and served with San Luis Valley Rural Electric as a meter reader awaiting the opportunity to enter an apprentice lineman program. He also worked as a contractor in Craig, Colo., which afforded him experience in line construction.
The grandson of the family who owned Lori’s Family Dining locations in Durango, Mortensen was born and raised in Alamosa, Colo. An avid athlete, Mortensen is also an Eagle Scout – experience that served him well in the lineman training.
LPEA’s apprentice program is sanctioned by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers as well as the Department of Labor. The four-year apprentice program includes 8,000 hours working on-the-job with mentor linemen in the field, as well as three years of simultaneous scholastic study in the evenings, and written examinations.
“Employer-sponsored apprenticeship programs are the best educational and training tools our industry ever invented,” said Mike Dreyspring, LPEA CEO. “It’s an excellent process for perfecting the professional and highly-skilled work trades our industry requires.”
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, contact LPEA at 970.247.5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.