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VC, Victoria Electric Cooperative joining to offer power line worker training


Victoria College’s Workforce and Continuing Education Department, in partnership with Victoria Electric Cooperative, will begin offering power line worker training this summer to meet a growing demand in the field.

A prerequisite course for the Power Line Worker Level 1 course will be held July 12 to Aug. 4 from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Room 104A of the College Services and Training Building at Victoria College’s Main Campus. Tuition for the prerequisite course will be $175.

The Power Line Worker Level 1 course will be held Sept. 13 to Dec. 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Room 224 of the Industrial Training Center at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex and at the Victoria Electric Cooperative training site. An additional four Saturdays of instruction from 8 to 5 p.m. each day will be required. Tuition for the Power Line Worker Level 1 course, which will provide an introduction to the power line worker trade, will be $615.

“Over the next 10 years, approximately one-third of the linemen in the utility industry will retire. This provides a great opportunity for individuals seeking a career in an essential and stable industry,” said VEC General Manager Blaine Warzecha.

“We have enjoyed working with Victoria Electric Cooperative to develop this new lineman training,” said VC Workforce and Continuing Education Program Director Radonna Brown. “Their contribution has been instrumental in allowing us the ability to offer training in a much-needed industry. Our mission continues to be working with our community partners to fulfill workforce training needs.”

The power line worker training will include power line worker safety; introduction to electrical circuits; introduction to electrical theory; climbing wooden poles and other structures; tools of the trade; aerial framing; utility service equipment; rigging; setting and pulling poles; trenching, excavating and boring equipment; and introduction to electrical test equipment.

A large part of the equipment for the training will be provided by VEC. Financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

“Our goal in partnering with VC is to develop a pipeline of talent for local and surrounding cooperatives while generating careers in the communities we serve,” Warzecha said.

For more information about the training, call Brown at (361) 582-2432.

Press Release 6/1/2016



Victoria Electric Cooperative urges electrical safety for Pokémon Go players

Victoria Electric Cooperative warns players of the augmented reality game Pokémon Go to stay away from power lines, transformers, and substations when playing the game.

VEC encourages users to exercise extreme caution when playing this new global phenomenon. The reality game is drawing players into some dangerous situations.  Electric utilities cannot control where the Pokémon appear, making it important for players to make sure they catch their Pokémon from a safe distance.

The game allows players to train, battle, and capture Pokémon through “geocaching,” during which players use their phones to hunt the characters hiding in the real world. Online threads are reporting the “electric” type Pokémon can be found near electrical sites.

VEC encourages parents of children who play the game to talk to them about how to be safe around electricity.

Important safety tips:

  • Stay away from power lines, transformers, substations, and electrical work sites.

  • Never jump on, sit on, kick, or stick anything inside a transformer, including padmount transformers.

  • Do not climb power poles or throw things into power lines.

  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen because they can still be energized.

  • Power lines near trees also pose a danger; exercise caution and check for power lines before climbing a tree.

Press Release 7/15/2016


Victoria Electric Cooperative’s Topping Out Ceremony For New Headquarters Building


On June 21, 2016, Victoria Electric Cooperative (VEC) employees, and board members gathered to celebrate the construction of their new headquarters building with a topping out ceremony.  Topping out ceremonies date back for centuries and celebrate the placement of the last structural beam on a building.  The ceremony surrounds the placement of an evergreen, which resides at the top of the building until it is completed.  The evergreen not only celebrates the construction efforts it represents growth, luck, and applauds the ongoing dedication to working safely.  In appreciation for the ongoing efforts of construction crews and workers VEC provided a hot lunch to all in attendance. 


The ceremony opened with a prayer from, VEC Board President, Don Wehmeyer followed by a few words from, General Manager, Blaine Warzecha about the past, present and future of the Cooperative. The new building will reside at 5502 US Hwy 59 North in Victoria, Texas. According to Blaine Warzecha, VEC General Manager “This building is an iconic piece of architecture and underlies the importance of a design that will foster a collaborative environment while weathering future storms to allow VEC to be here for our membership when our membership needs us the most.” Perkins and Will out of Dallas, Texas served as the architect and has lead the design efforts of the new building with Weaver and Jacobs serving as the General Contractor.   


The new building has been designed to fit the existing and future needs of cooperative members.  Ease of access was a priority and will be evident in the buildings design.  Among priorities are also improved amenities for employees such as natural lighting, open meeting areas and newer technology. 


Victoria Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a not-for-profit electric cooperative with the mission of providing members safe, reliable electric service at an affordable rate. VEC serves over 22,000 meters in parts of six counties throughout south Texas, including Victoria, Goliad, DeWitt, Calhoun, Refugio and Jackson.


Press Release 6/21/2016


Victoria Electric Cooperative Supervisor Receives Patriot Award


David Nerada of Victoria Electric Cooperative was presented with a Patriot Award on June 10, 2016 by Tom Rendon of the Texas Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) in recognition of the extraordinary support of his employee serving in the Air Force Reserve.  Mr. Nerada was nominated by Staff Sergeant John Rodarte, a lineman at Victoria Electric Cooperative.

“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Eddy Spurgin, Texas ESGR State Chair.  “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”

“I was extremely surprised and touched that one of my employees nominated me for such an award, I am truly honored,” said David Nerada.

Victoria Electric Cooperative also signed a Statement of Support by the Texas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) as being an employer that pledges to support the Guard and Reserve employees.

About ESGR:

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Press Release 6/10/2016




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