Spotlight on ElectriCities Safety Instructor Craig Batchelor


The ElectriCities Safety and Training team brings several careers’ worth of experience and expertise to help lineworkers, meter technicians, and substation technicians throughout ElectriCities member communities gain the skills and expertise needed to work safely and advance their careers.

Over the next several months, we’ll introduce you to each of our instructors. We kicked off February introducing you to Senior Safety & Training Specialist Mark Todd. We’ll close out the month getting to know Craig Batchelor, ElectriCities’ Manager of Safety & Training.

Craig Batchelor, Manager of Safety & Training at ElectriCities

Craig is from Nashville in eastern North Carolina—the original Nashville, he said. 😉 He worked on his uncle’s farm from middle school through high school. Craig is engaged and has two children. His 12-year-old son is in middle school, and his 17-year-old daughter is heading to ECU in the fall.

Craig has been an ElectriCities instructor for nearly 7 years and a lineworker for 25. At ElectriCities, he was originally hired to teach the Lineworker Career Development Program for our member cities. After a few years, he transitioned to facilitating our safety schools at Nash Community College.

Now, as Manager, Craig oversees ElectriCities’ Safety & Training programs, including safety schools and career development programs.

How did you get into linework?

After trying college out for a year, I came home and decided that wasn’t for me. Dad told me I had to get a job. I had some high school friends who worked at Wilson Energy, and they were able to get me an interview. I started my career in linework in August 1999 at Wilson Energy and was there for almost 17 years.

What do you like best about teaching?

My favorite part of teaching is seeing students “get it.” Fortunately, our Safety & Training team shares the importance of helping students understand what’s being taught.

Do you have a favorite class or school to teach?

Craig Batchelor (right) works with an ElectriCities member to demonstrate bucket truck self-rescue techniques at the NCAMES Lineman’s Rodeo in May 2023. Craig, along with ElectriCities Supervisor of Safety and Training Ross Whitehurst, also taught the crucial techniques at the 2023 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo in Kansas City, Missouri.

I have two: Climbing School and the Leadership Skills for Crew Leaders workshop.

Climbing School because most of these guys are new to linework and are sponges for the information presented to them.

Leadership Skills because these folks are prepping to take a crew leader role at their city and are no longer shielded from the public and management. We go in depth in this class about what conversations and situations may arise and how to professionally handle them. I see a different side of lineworkers in this class, because they’ve spent their career learning a trade to get to a crew leader position and sometimes don’t realize that managing a crew is just one part of what they’ll face ahead.

What’s a favorite moment from class?

My favorite moments from any class are when the students become the teachers. It’s evident as an instructor when we see students that stand out and other students reach out to get a peer perspective on what’s going on.

That lets me know two things. 1) The information and instruction are reaching the students. 2) The students are making lifelong contacts in the industry while adding to the discussion and overall effectiveness of the school.

What’s the most important thing you want students to take away from class?

The number one thing we want students to take away is the knowledge to work safely, no matter the task. We also want them to have the confidence to ask questions at their city or town when they think there could be a safety issue. Finally, I want them to know I’m available if they have questions, during the class or after they’ve returned home.

Anything else you’d like to share?

The Safety & Training staff are no different than the potential students. We started in this industry the same way they did. We can relate to and understand what it takes to get from where they are now to where they want to be.

Craig will be teaching Leadership Skills for Crew Leaders, March 19-20, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

View the full training schedule here. If you have questions about classes or registration, contact Susanne Taylor, Member Training and Engagement Specialist at ElectriCities.

Want to get stories delivered to your inbox?