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Tenaska donates to LeCroy Career Technical Center

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

LeCroy Career Technical Center received a donation of no longer needed equipment and $500 from Tenaska power plant on Dec. 10.

The donation will be used by the electrical industrial maintenance class.

“It’s like Christmas morning,” LCTC Director Dr. Shannon Walker said of the donation.

Tenaska had contacted the school about a week before about donating to the school.

Robert Threlkeld, Tenaska plant manager, said the plant tries to support the career tech centers in Chilton and Autauga counties since the plant is in Billingsley.

“We try to work with the schools and show them what jobs there are out there and a little bit about what we do and work with instructors,” Threlkeld said.

Threlkeld said the equipment is what is “commonly used out at the plant.”

The equipment will give the LCTC students in the program hands-on experience on equipment used in the field.

“We are just so grateful that local industry is reaching out to us, and we are going to take full advantage of that and their expertise,” Walker said.

The power generation process has been largely automated using computers, but knowledgeable employees are still crucial.

“You still have to maintain it,” Threlkeld said.

Jerome Mayfield, who teaches the electrical industrial maintenance course at LCTC, said the course has a major focus on safety and creating a workforce environment for students.

“We start out with the basics of electrical,” Mayfield said. “We do residential, commercial and industrial.”

Mayfield said the equipment will allow the course to add studying instrumentation used in the field, which previously had not been offered.

“They will be able to see what instruments are, used for and how they work,” Mayfield said.

He said this will build on the information already taught and bring it all together.

“It’s a good program,” Threlkeld said.

Threlkeld said many students will complete the courses at LCTC and continue their studies at a technical college before going into the workforce.

“It’s good pay,” Threlkeld said. “You are always going to need the technicians. That’s not going to go away, and it’s always going to be high tech.”

The industry continues to adapt to new technology. Threlkeld said wireless technology is beginning to be used more.

The potential for student visits to the plant and Tenaska personnel coming to speak at the school is also being discussed.