Gary Paul

Supervisor in Training, Grenada Electricity Services (GRENLEC) Grenada, West Indies

Gary Paul joined Grenada Electricity Services (GRENLEC) in 2000 as part the company’s first ever Apprentice Lineman training program.  Upon completion of the program in 2002, he became a Lineman’s Four and spent the next several years gaining a wealth of experience on various crews including construction crew, live line crew, meter services crew, and fault report crew.  He worked his way up through the company and was promoted to a Linesman’s Two and a Crew Leader.  When the opportunity to advance into a Supervisor position opened up, his company told Gary he would need to increase his qualifications in order to be considered for the promotion.

Gary turned to online education to give him the qualifications needed to secure a position as a Supervisor.  The first program in which he enrolled didn’t work out, but then a co-worker told him about the online Electric Power Technology (ELPW) program at Bismarck State College.  After reviewing the program, he knew he’d found exactly what he needed: “The program was tailored and structured especially for linemen and people in the utility industry.”

Impressed with the online program, Gary found the online discussions in the courses to be extremely beneficial.  “The threaded discussions made the online courses better than a classroom setting in terms of the interaction.  I never thought I’d be able to get that level of interaction from an online course, but it was great!”  He also appreciated the fact that many of the professors came from the industry:  “The knowledge displayed by the professors demonstrated a high level of practical experience from working in the field. This added significant value to the discussions.”

Since earning his Associate’s Degree in Electric Power Technology in 2013, Gary was accepted into the Supervisor training program and is training to become a Distribution Supervisor.  When the Apprentice Lineman began their program, the company had Apprentices write down where they saw themselves in ten years.   Gary said, “I stated that in 10 years time, I would like to be a Distribution Supervisor, and I’m actually living out that dream right now.”  For the new Apprentice Lineman entering the program, Gary advises them that if they too have their sights set on a supervisory position, he strongly recommends pursuing additional education, especially the ELPW program through Bismarck State College.