He Transformed His Skill Set
Power lines and substations pretty much look the same to most people. That's OK; the thing you need to know is to keep your distance.
For our employees who work on those facilities, though, lines and substations have some apples-to-oranges considerations; working on one doesn't mean you can work on the other.
Aaron, a substation foreman based in West Columbia, worked on TNMP line crews for 12 years when he moved to substations seven years ago. It was a new education.
When an opportunity to seek a substation tech position was available, Aaron pondered it for a bit, but ultimately applied.
"I put in the last day it was open, and I got the job," he says.
"Substations always intimidated me and a lot of line crew guys. But I'd topped out on the line crew and I wanted to get in and learn something new."
Substations transform power, increasing or decreasing voltages, and push it down the line. Transformers on poles in back yards accomplish similar outcomes when they decrease voltages to deliver power to homes. But they're hardly identical.
"At first, it was an unknown, trying to learn something new from substation guys," Aaron says. "It takes a bit to learn the different stuff you're working on. It's big transformers – higher-voltage stuff."
Aaron is an Angleton resident for whom the people around him are his biggest motivator, whether it's line and substation colleagues in West Columbia or his family in the area.
"The reason I'm here is because these people I work with are good people," he says of his co-workers. "We all get along."
His time away from the job is pretty well committed, too. He has three kids between 9 and 20 and devotes a lot of time to their baseball and softball games, track meets, cheerleading and karate.
Another thing he finds time for is freshwater fishing with his dad, Bruce.
"Trying to get that big bass to put on the wall!" he says.
"Well, no," he says, laughing. "Not that big."