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Kansas Utility Company Awards EPT Students with Scholarships

10 May 2021

One of Kim Goodnight’s favorite road trip destinations is Pratt Community College in Pratt, KS.

Goodnight is the Regional Manager of Community Affairs with ITC Great Plains, a large utility company in Kansas, providing energy solutions to the Southwest Power Pool Region.

Goodnight cites the Electrical Power Technology (EPT) program at PCC as an outstanding lineman training resource. He rewards two student scholarships on behalf of ITC, and travels to meet with all of the students in the program.

“We need people to stay in Kansas, we do. If you look at the job force in our electrical field, you’ll see there’s almost 60% getting close to retirement age. So there needs to be that influx of new, trained and educated work force to be able to step in, and that’s what PCC is doing here.”

ITC has held a relationship with PCC for more than a decade. EPT Director Dave Campbell likes that the scholarships allow him to raise the bar for his students.

“We select students that are stand-outs and for their hard work and their dedication to their classes and we want them to be the best of the best. It’s very expensive to go to school and train and many of them are non-traditional students that have families and they’re trying to make ends meet while they’re doing this training, so we appreciate the help.”

The scholarships were awarded to EPT students Jacob Benham and Jacob Miller.

EPT Student Jacob Benham
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Jacob Benham found employment with Great Plains Electric in Hooker, OK upon completing the certificate program.

“It has helped me immensely with paying for school and everything, I mean I didn’t come from a very wealthy family, and I’ve been living on my own for a long time. So that extra money really helped me focus on my studies rather than having to focus on going to work and things like that. I was able to just do what I needed to do to get good grades here. It really made me feel good and happy that I’ve been working hard and putting in effort, and I’m very honored to get that.”

It isn’t easy to select two students from the pool of talent in the EPT program at PCC, with a nearly 100 percent job placement rate… but it pays off.

EPT student Jacob Miller
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Jacob Miller wasn’t present for Goodnight’s visit, as he was involved in prescreening for a job. But he made his appreciation known in a statement.

“Achieving this accomplishment is bittersweet knowing I was selected out of many students who put the time and effort in, day in and day out. This has been a huge blessing for me and my family. It has lifted a financial burden and allowed me to focus more on my schooling. I would like to furthermore thank ITC for their continuation in donating this scholarship to this program. I would also like to thank Dave and Jeff for the knowledge and time that they pour into us. Getting to know them on a personal level assures me they care greatly for this program and the students in it.”

Campbell describes the EPT program as a legacy program that builds upon itself.

“Students that go through this program go out and work hard, do well and become supervisors and move up in the program and then they hire back from the mother ship, back from the program that they came from.”

Goodnight is continually impressed with the EPT students at PCC.

“Every one of them are top-notch individuals. I was reading that one of the recipients of the scholarships emphasized the giving back to community. We in our company understand how important that is as well and that really resonated with me. It’s important that all of these kids, when they’re entering into the workforce and living in communities, to be part of them. They’re all outstanding individuals.”

Pratt EPT class, May 2021
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Kim Goodnight of ITC Great Plains talks with EPT students, May 2021.
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Speaking with Lineman class, May 2021.
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Goodnight greets EPT scholarship recipient Jacob Benham, May 2021
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From left to right, Pratt EPT instructor Jeff Hoffman, EPT Director Dave Campbell, ITC Lineman/Contractor Eric Ivy, EPT Student Jacob Benham, ITC Regional Manager of Community Affairs Kim Hoffman, PCC President Dr. Michael Calvert.
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