Tuesday, 23 November 2021 14:01

Two substation grads return for recruitment at RichmondCC career fair

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Richmond Community College graduate Mikale McLendon joined Dominion Energy upper managers Jack Rackoski and Jim Levanseller to help recruit for the company at the Power the World Career Fair. Richmond Community College graduate Mikale McLendon joined Dominion Energy upper managers Jack Rackoski and Jim Levanseller to help recruit for the company at the Power the World Career Fair. RichmondCC

HAMLET — Two graduates of Richmond Community College’s Electric Utility Substation & Relay Technology program were back on campus last week for a new kind of purpose: recruitment.


Mikale McLendon, a system protection technician for Dominion Energy, and Brooke Odom, a field service engineer for Potomac Testing, represented their respective employers at the Power the World Career Fair on Nov. 17 at the Cole Auditorium. The annual event is geared toward connecting students in the EUSRT program with a variety of companies specializing in telecommunications, utilities, engineering and construction.

The EUSRT program prepares students to maintain high voltage equipment and protective systems for the electric utility transmission system. It is a two-year associate degree program unique to RichmondCC. 

McLendon was hired by Dominion right after he graduated from the EUSRT program in June. Originally from Anson County, he relocated to Fredericksburg, Virginia, for the job. The 21-year-old recently bought his first house and has moved family up to Virginia to live with him. 

“I love it up there, and working for Dominion is great. They’re really family-oriented,” said McLendon, who works four days a week, 10 hours a day. “Everything I learned in the substation program I put into my interview with Dominion. I owe a lot to Richmond Community College.”

McLendon was at the Power the World Career Fair with two upper managers from Dominion.

“What we are looking for is someone with the basic knowledge of electrical and relay systems and a solid background in safety,” said Jack Rackoski, manager for systems protection for the northern and western regions of Virginia. “We take what they know and then train them the Dominion way.”

Richmond Community College graduate Brooke Odom joined Potomac senior technician recruiter Brandon Seibert to help recruit for the company at the Power the World Career Fair.

Brooke Odom also graduated from the EUSRT program in June. Formerly of Scotland County, she is now living in Sterling, Va., one of Potomac Testing’s four locations. Odom said when talking to students at the Power the World Career Fair she encouraged them to keep an open mind about the different career paths their degree could take them.

“Also, ask a lot of questions, look into the benefits each company offers, and the different job locations and what area best fits them,” Odom said. 

Odom had multiple job offers when she graduated from the program, but she is glad she chose to work for Potomac.

“It was worth moving six hours from home,” she said.

Brandon Seibert, a senior technician recruiter for Potomac Testing, accompanied Odom at the career fair to talk to RichmondCC students about the many different opportunities in this line of work.

“What we’re really looking for is ambitious people,” Seibert said. “If they want to continue their education and get their Electrical Engineering degree, we heavily support that.”

Scot Schumukler, testing supervisor for Power Testing and Energization Inc., shared the same sentiment for hiring ambitious employees. 

“We have positions open for field staff, electrical engineers and designers,” he said.

Power Testing and Energization is an international company with locations all over the country and throughout the world. Schumukler noted they have positions in Hawaii and Australia that need to be filled. 

Over 15 companies attended the career fair. EPC Services Company, which has headquarters in Billings, Mt., was looking for candidates with a solid foundation in electrical and mechanical systems. Engineering firm Ampirical was recruiting for its Atlanta location, looking for motivated individuals willing to learn. Ampirical also will offer summer internships for students in RichmondCC’s substation program.

“This career fair in the fall is geared more toward our first-year students speaking with companies about summer internship opportunities, while also allowing our second-year students to network with potential employers and learn about the different companies, the benefits they offer and job placement,” said Brian Terry, EUSRT program coordinator.

The Power the World Career Fair is put on by the Career & Transfer Center.

In preparation for this event, EUSRT instructor Jared Luckey held classes about resume building, interview skills, how to search for a job, NETA testing, and transformer testing and commissioning. 

“He worked closely with our EUSRT students to prepare them for their exciting future,” Terry said. “He did this on his own time and without compensation, so I appreciate his effort to help these students represent themselves, the program and the college in a favorable light.”

A representative from Excelsior College was also at the career fair to talk to the students about furthering their education in Electrical Engineering Technology or Technology Management/Electrical Technology. Excelsior and RichmondCC have a transfer agreement that allows EUSRT graduates to transfer up to 90 credits into one of these bachelor degree programs.

To learn more about the EUSRT program, contact Brian Terry at 910-410-1941 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. RichmondCC is currently registering students for the 2022 Spring Semester. Get started in this program on Jan. 13! Call Student Services at 910-410-1700 or visit the Hamlet or Scotland County Campus.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 23 November 2021 14:18