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NDAREC recognizes graduates of apprenticeship program

The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) is proud to announce the graduation of 14 lineworkers and one meter technician from its apprenticeship program. Over the last 60 years, more than 700 apprentices have completed the program. To graduate, apprentices must complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and more than 400 hours of study.

“On behalf of NDAREC, I’d like to congratulate this year’s graduates,” says NDAREC Safety and Services Director Christy Roemmich. “It is critical for North Dakota’s electric cooperatives to plan for the future and train our workforce. Apprenticeship is an important part of that plan. Our apprentices recognize the value of paid on-the-job training coupled with a robust educational component that helps build generational greatness in our industry.”

The following lineworkers and meter technicians graduated from the apprenticeship program in 2020:

  • Casey Axtman, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative
  • Kellen Longie, Central Power Electric Cooperative
  • Andrew Nyhagen, Cavalier Rural Electric Cooperative
  • Chandler Aarfor, Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative
  • Jeremy Radcliff, Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative
  • Denby Lueck, McKenzie Electric Cooperative
  • Kale Ohlhauser, Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative
  • Casey Axtman, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative
  • Brandon Braun, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative
  • Lane Schmitt, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative
  • Zac Scalzo, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative
  • Jacob Ihry, Nodak Electric Cooperative
  • Alex Schultz, Nodak Electric Cooperative
  • Trenton McCloud, North Central Electric Cooperative
  • Alec Storhoff, Valley City Public Works
  • Anthony Schaff, Roughrider Electric Cooperative 

Casey Axtman, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC), received this year's Outstanding Apprentice Award. Axtman was the highest-ranking apprentice in both related studies and on-the-job performance. MWEC Operations Manager James Neether says Axtman is one of the best apprentices he has worked with in his 24 years in the industry. 

“Casey accepts every task given to him and assesses the situation to find the safest possible way to work the job,” says Neether. “He is a definite asset to MWEC and will be a leader throughout his career.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NDAREC will celebrate graduates of the program with a traveling ceremony. Safety instructors will deliver certificates to each cooperative and present a video highlighting safety performance and graduating apprentices. Click here to view the video. 

NDAREC is the statewide trade association for 16 electric distribution cooperatives and five generation and transmission cooperatives operating in North Dakota. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 250,000 North Dakotans. NDAREC services include legislative advocacy, lineworker safety training and professional development services and cooperative business development. The association also provide a variety of communication services including publication of the North Dakota Living magazine.