After being recruited through the Cable Splicer Boot Camp, those chosen as cable splicer apprentices must continually prove their skills as part of their training to become a journeyman.
In early February, second-year apprentices tested their craftsmanship to make a lead joint, a critical part of their job maintaining the downtown network.
A very specialized skill, making a single lead joint has dozen of steps and can take up to eight hours. The focus here is on their craftsmanship that will help the lead joint pass the test of time. While this test happened in the airiness of the truck bay, a cable splicer must often work in the depths of an underground vault.
The confines of a vault are dark, tight and often wet. But around them are the handiwork of cable splicers before them. Often cable splicers would etch initials and dates into the joint.
The training is part of OPPD’s Joint Apprentice Training Committee or JATC. The JATC is a partnership of union leadership, managers and the safety department working together to strengthen employees’ skills. This is especially important for a specialized skill like cable splicing. Less than 20 employees maintain all underground lines for OPPD. Having training in-house lets experienced splicers keep standards high as they relay their experience to the apprentices.
For cable splicers at OPPD, the future remains bright.
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