Kail Robinson is proof there are many different paths one can take during a career at Consumers Energy.
The company veteran started out as an electrician in 2004. He spent five years honing his craft and learning from those around him, all while having his eyes on other opportunities to expand his skill set.
“In those five years, I earned an electrical journeyman’s card,” Robinson said. “At that time, I became more interested in a career as a lineworker.”
In 2009, Robinson joined the Apprenticeship Training program at Lansing Community College (LCC) before completing his courses with hands-on experience at our Marshall Training Center.
In 2011, he started at East Kent as an apprentice lineman that led to him earning his journey lineworker card in 2015.
Robinson continues to maintain both his journey lineworker card and his electrician card, so he always has options in what he wants to do with his career.
From 2015 to 2022, Robinson served as a journeyman and lineworker in-charge at East Kent, where he worked on a wide range of overhead and underground projects, including storm restoration.
In 2022, opportunity knocked in the form of an underground general foreman position in Walker. He liked the job he had, but the new one would mean Robinson could have a chance to be home more in the evenings and weekends to participate in his family’s life.
“My family is very grateful for the opportunities I have had here,” Robinson said. “I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m right where I am supposed to be. I am right where I want to be.”
With our recent announcement that we will be conducting a program to bury our lines, people like Robinson will be helping out in that venture.
“It’s an exciting time to be an underground lineworker,” said Robinson, who works with underground voltage ranging from 120 to 14,000 volts. “It’s a job that fits right into my wheelhouse with my background as an electrician and working with overhead and underground lines.”
He added that boring and trenching are skills needed by underground lineworkers. Other tasks performed in his underground post include overseeing crews on larger projects, helping train apprentices, being a voice for our new group for procedures, material, tools and equipment.
“It’s been great to work with different work groups like dispatch, overhead line crews and the meter shop,” he said. “You are constantly in communication with groups who have a history of knowledge in areas that we are in.”
Robinson said he passes along his knowledge through his vast experiences to new people in their respective positions.
“We have a lot of new people who came from the gas side,” he said. “And they are hungry to be successful and I will do my best to help them do just that. It’s nice when somebody comes to you for advice – it helps me reinforce the importance of what I’ve learned through my work experiences. And one day they will pass their knowledge down to somebody else. It’s the way things should be.”