The Index AR Solutions team was on hand at the graduation ceremony for a new Electric Utility Program launched at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). The inaugural program featured a digital curriculum based on modern, field-proven training materials that Index created in partnership with MidAmerican Energy using eBooks and mobile apps delivered via tablets.
Fourteen of the fifteen students enrolled in the successful course’s first semester at DMACC last fall returned for the spring semester. Thirteen of the fourteen program graduates accepted positions with MidAmerican or other utilities at an average annual starting salary of more than $65,000.
Based on positive feedback from students and the instructor, DMACC decided to double the class size for the fall of 2023, and it was quickly oversubscribed, with more than 30 students lined up to register.
Index surveyed the students following the completion of the course and gathered a multitude of positive feedback. Many students commented on how helpful and easy to use the Index eBook and app material proved to be during the course.
“There is a lot of different equipment in this job field, so having the iPads was very helpful with retaining the information,” remarked one student. “They were easy to use and ultimately have been helping me in the job field today.”
Another student commented on the power of the Index 3D visualizations, which proved effective in teaching important skills such as wiring transformer connections. “It was great to be able to learn and visualize what you’re supposed to be doing,” said the student.
Others found the instructional videos produced by Index especially useful, which featured actual utility workers demonstrating and explaining tasks. “My favorite part were the videos, and going through what was being performed,” said the student.
“With the job field we are in, interactive iPads are very helpful for retaining information,” said another.
The success of initiatives such as DMACC’s Electric Utility Program comes at a critical time, as utilities struggle to place skilled people in the lineman career field. The digital curriculum developed by Index is a fundamental shift in the way linemen are trained.
“Because there have been so few colleges that offer programs for the line mechanic trade, it’s been very difficult for the utility industry to put skilled people in the field, but working with visionaries like DMACC and Index, that’s starting to change,” said Stephen Simmons, Director of Trades and Crafts Training at MidAmerican Energy.
The Index digital curriculum presents instructional material in the form of rich multimedia that is also interactive and includes valuable video lessons from seasoned workers sharing wisdom and real-world stories from the field.
“This program would not have been possible without the leadership and support of MidAmerican Energy,” said Dan Arczynski, CEO at Index AR Solutions.
Ultimately, the program is enabling companies like MidAmerican to create a new talent pool that is trained to an industry standard and accelerate hiring goals.