Powering Strong Communities

First Female Graduate Headlines Austin Energy Climbing School Celebration

Cherie Rene Cheramie became the first woman to graduate from Austin Energy Climbing School, joining 10 other trainees as they completed their first step in joining Austin Energy field crews.

Climbing school graduation is the culmination of a three-week training for Austin Energy’s new Distribution Electrician Helpers and marks the official start of a four-year apprenticeship, the Texas public power utility noted.

Family, field crews and other Austin Energy staff celebrated the graduation with a certification ceremony at the Decker Creek Power Station, highlighted by graduates each climbing a 70-foot “confidence pole.”

“Our lineworkers are the lifeblood of Austin Energy and are crucially important in keeping the energy flowing to our community,” said Elton Richards, Austin Energy’s vice president of field operations. “I’m humbled and proud of this diverse class of selfless individuals that choose this work and look forward to their continued education with our field crews.”

Cheramie, 30, a Marine Corps veteran, started her education in the lineworker program at Texas State Technical College at Waco before joining Austin Energy. She says that she loves the challenge of the job and serving her community.

“Being a lineworker was a perfect fit for me, especially at Austin Energy, because I value both providing electrical service to the community and a high priority on safety,” Cheramie said. “This opportunity keeps me motivated to be the best I can be and to love what I do.”