Making line work his life’s work leads to Hall of Fame induction for MCC-BT instructor

Lineman instructor Ed Budy, left, speaks with a former co-worker.
Ed Budy (center), an instructor in the MCC-Business & Technology lineman program for 10 years, recently was elected to the International Lineman Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the hall on Oct. 15 in Overland Park.

It’s a running joke in MCC-Business & Technology’s lineman program that Ed Budy loves to talk, but Susan Blaser found a way Jan. 20 to leave him speechless.

Blaser, the program coordinator, surprised the longtime instructor by announcing that he’d been elected into the International Lineman Hall of Fame. Addressing an audience that included current and former students and peers, Budy, 75, initially struggled to find the words to express his gratitude.

“It’s no secret that I usually have plenty to say, but that really got to me,” said Budy, who will be honored April 2 at the American Public Power Association Rodeo in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “You never expect an honor like this. It really gives you a sense of pride that you’re doing the right thing.”

Many of the former students and co-workers who attended the announcement shared stories about Budy, who worked as a lineman for 40 years before retiring from Kansas City Power & Light Co.

Those who spoke expressed how much they learned from Budy, an instructor at MCC-Business & Technology since 2006.

Susan Blaser and Ed Budy
Ed Budy and Susan Blaser talk about Ed’s service in the Marines during his Hall of Fame announcement.

“Throughout his career, Ed has trained apprentices and mentored new linemen and was sought out by his peers to get on his crew,” said Blaser, who worked with Budy as a linewoman for several years at KCP&L. “He is a man who is respected by all who have met him and work with him. His outlook on life and attitude make him a pleasure to be around.”

Budy has worked with hundreds of students at MCC-BT, training and mentoring some of the top lineworkers in the region. Above all, he stresses the importance of safety and focus.

“In all my years of working as a lineman, nobody on my crew ever got burned, and that’s something I’m proud of,” he said. “I have always taught them that safety is the most important thing. I’ve also taught them that they must be focused. You cannot go to a job and be thinking of anything but the task at hand, and if you are, you better tell your crew.”

A Kansas City, Kan., native, Budy graduated from Washington High School and served in the Marines, where he was a jet mechanic for four years before beginning his career.

Budy worked at Colgate before joining KCP&L in 1962. He completed an apprenticeship in 1967 and retired as a field foreman in 2003.

“When you think about a lineman who has impacted your life, a guy who made such a lasting impression, you hear the name Ed Budy,” said Blaser, who nominated Budy for the honor. “He is known for sharing his wisdom and knowledge of line work with anyone who wants to learn the craft.”

Budy and wife Sue have been married for 51 years and have three children and five grandchildren.

Budy also will be honored during the International Lineman’s Rodeo in October in Overland Park, Kansas.

GOLD COLLAR JOBS

Learn more about the lineman program during our Gold Collar Career Exploration nights at MCC-BT. Our next Gold Collar night is at 6 p.m. March 24. Join us to learn more about Gold Collar jobs ($30,000 to $80,000 per year wages, 8 percent or higher job growth rate and associate degree or less to begin a career). Register online for upcoming Gold Collar Exploration Nights. We also have Gold Collar nights scheduled July 7, Sept. 15 and Dec. 8.

LINEMAN PROGRAM

The next lineman cohort begins in June, but the deadline for applying is in April. You must apply for admission to MCC and complete a separate application to be reviewed by program coordinator Susan Blaser. Learn more about the program and apply online.