MCC instructor blazes the way for area linemen and women

To say Susan Blaser and the lineman program at MCC-Business & Technology are having a good year in the media might be a bit of an understatement.

IMG_4663Just a few months after being honored by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine as a recipient of the 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award, Blaser recently was featured in a story by National Public Radio (NPR) and in the book “The American Lineman,” by Alan Drew.

“The attention is nice, but more importantly it’s great for the lineman program,” said Blaser, the program coordinator. “It helps to get the word out that we have a good program that produces great linemen.”

Not to mention she has an amazing story to tell. Blaser was the first woman in the area to work as a line worker when she started in 1987.

Frank Morris is a correspondent and senior editor for KCUR, the flagship NPR affiliate radio station in Kansas City. Morris interviewed Blaser for a story that aired on NPR’s “Morning Edition” about the shortage of linemen in the industry, “Help Wanted: Must Like Heights and High Voltage.”

A trailblazer who became the first female lineworker in Missouri, Blaser addressed the shortage of women in the field in the article: “Women just don’t know about the opportunity, and the money they can make, if they like working outside.”

Published in October by Northwest Lineman College Press, Drew’s book features Blaser on pages 374 and 375, describing her journey from the Kansas City Power & Light lineworker training program, to a 20-year career in the industry, to her current position as program coordinator at MCC-BT.

“Alan contacted me several months ago about the book, and I was honored to be included,” said Blaser. “I think it shows that if you’re willing to work hard, you can accomplish your goals.”

Read and listen to the NPR story on Blaser, or read more about Drew’s book on “The American Lineman” website.