FAIRMONT W.Va. – With nearly a hundred years of service to West Virginia customers, Mon Power is continuing to make history as it employed its first-ever female lineman.
After graduating college, Ashley Morris first started as a registered operating room nurse. Once working in the medical field for 5 years, Morris wanted to make a change within society in a different way.
“I graduated college with a nursing degree, and I wasn’t in love with my career, so I just wanted something that I can come home every day and be proud of. Being a lineman is it,” said Morris.
That change went much further than just personally, as Morris would become the very first female lineman to work with Mon Power since the beginning of the company’s existence nearly 100 years ago.
Fellow co-worker, 28-year Mon Power veteran Randall Summers, said as physically demanding as the job is, Morris has earned her spot like everyone else through her hard work.
“I think it’s great. I think if anyone can do the job, they should do the job. It’s an excellent occupation, it pays well, there’s benefits to the job, but on the other side, it’s a hard job, it’s physical labor and not everyone is cut out to climb poles and be up high,” said Summers.
The hard work started way before being hired by Mon Power, as Morris explained the vigorous training to join the line crew.
“A two-week tryout where you are pretty much climbing for eight hours a day for two weeks, so you have to do four qualifying climbs and they score you based off of how you perform, said Morris. “If this is something you want to do no matter your gender or ethnicity go for it. Work hard, train hard and it’s definitely doable, but you know I recommend it, so.”