Jonathan Hillis of Rocky Mount is living the dream. As an apprentice lineman with FB Timberline, he travels the country, seeing new sights and doing work he never imagined possible.
Hillis enrolled in Nash Community College’s 16-week Electric Line Construction Technology academy in January. “I wanted to work with my hands. I wanted to do work that matters. And I wanted to work for a company that appreciates me,” he said. “The training at Nash was everything I had hoped it would be.” A previous graduate of NCC, Hillis refers to Nash Community College as ‘home’.
“I knew nothing about electricity or line construction a year ago, but the program prepared me at the highest level for the work I am doing today. Now, I can literally build power lines from the ground up,” he said.
With the desire to support others in pursuing their dream, Jonathan Hillis recently established a scholarship through the Nash Community College Foundation to assist deserving students as they prepare for a career in the utility industry. The Jonathan Hillis Line Technology Merit Award will acknowledge the outstanding academic merit of NCC Electric Line Construction Technology students.
“The training program is intense and it is very difficult to maintain full-time employment while completing the academy,” he said. “It was financially challenging for me, and I saw many of my classmates struggle as well.” The scholarship will be awarded each semester to one student enrolled in the Electric Line Construction Technology academy.
“Nash’s program is known in the industry for preparing top candidates,” Hillis said. “I never would have known about this company, but they came to campus to recruit directly from my class. Three of us were hired. I am doing work that I love in an industry where I make a difference.”
Hillis shared that he has always had a desire to help others. “The financial burden for students not only includes tuition, but many employers do not provide gear, and it is the responsibility of the graduate to purchase their own,” he said. “Helping lighten the financial load is a way for me to say to others: you have done your best and it shows. Congratulations on your hard work, and make the most out of your career.”
Pictured above from left: Electric Line Construction Technology Instructor Brandon Shook, Vice President of Economic Development Wendy Marlowe, Jonathan Hillis, Vice President of Advancement Pam Ballew and Electric Line Construction Technology Instructor Jon O’Boyle.