Bismarck State College
Substation Electrician – American Electric Power (AEP)
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side – just ask Jordan Miller. Jordan had done some entry level work in the energy industry before leaving the company and taking a job in a different industry. After being laid off due to jobs being exported, he knew that he wanted to come back and establish a career in the energy industry. “I saw a distribution line crew working on my way home and thought, ‘That’s it! They can’t send the power that they generate overseas.’ I started as a Lineman for Pike Electric and at the same time I started to go to college.”
Jordan found out about EPCE on the internet. He had never attended college, but knew that with a mortgage and working 50 to 60 hours per week, he couldn’t afford to take time off to sit in a classroom. EPCE’s online programs were perfect. He enrolled in Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence (BSC)’s Electric Power Technology (ELPW) program. “I learned so much,” he says. “I can now really see the big picture. I understand how everything is hooked up and works together.” While in school, Jordan chose to focus on both overhead and underground line construction, as well as substation work, to broaden his opportunities.
“You live and you learn,” Jordan reflects. “I thought a degree would give me a leg up as I try to get into the energy industry.”
Thanks to his degree from EPCE/BSC, “I started with American Electric Power as a meter reader. The degree actually got me in the door with the company. I put in hard work and a substation job opened up. One of the minimum qualifications for the substation job was a two year degree in electric power technology,” like the one Jordan earned from Bismarck State College. In fact, “when I received the [job offer] from HR they were actually asking me questions about my schooling. They wanted me to give them the list of all the classes that I took at the college…they told me that all of these classes that I took are exactly what they are looking for to hire. Looking ahead, Jordan is enrolling in BSC’s Bachelor’s degree program in Energy Management. “I believe that with all the retirees in the energy industry, I can move up to a management job in the future.”