Overhead School

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Overhead School

Overhead School

Date: September 12-15, 2023
  • Day 1: Sep 12, 2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Day 2: Sep 13, 2023 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Day 3: Sep 14, 2023 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Day 4: Sep 15, 2023 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: MMUA Training Center, 1004 Michigan Road, Marshall, MN
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This event is now closed for online registration

About the school

Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA), along with our partners Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) and American Public Power Association (APPA), are pleased to offer the Underground School.

NOTE: Members of MREA need to register on their site directly.

What you will learn 

General sessions

The General Sessions are held on the first and last day of the School. Participants must attend these sessions to receive full credit for course hours.

Tuesday, September 12

De-escalation Strategies
In this presentation, participants will learn about pre-assault behaviors--both verbal and non-verbal, and various techniques you can use to help calm a verbally aggressive or potentially disruptive individual:

  • The ability to organize your thinking and respond calmly are effective de-escalation techniques that can help you avoid a potential crisis.
  • Learn how personal space, body language, and listening skills can help de-escalate disruptive behavior.

Friday, September 15

The Power of a Minute, Scott Meinecke, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives
In today's hectic world we often lose track of time. We are continually trying to multi-task just to keep our heads above water! This program will help you focus on the true value of a minute as it pertains to ensuring your fellow brothers and sisters get home safely each day.

Multi-session class details

The multi-session class is intended for lineworkers of all experience levels. Registrants will rotate through the following sessions.

Session 1: Equipotential grounding
Proper testing and grounding is one of the single most important safeguards we have in our industry. It establishes a safe work zone where all conductors are at the same potential. It ensures that even if a circuit becomes energized the lineworker is still protected. In this session we will cover:

  • Changes made to the APPA safety manual/OSHA regarding grounding overhead structures.
  • The science behind why equipotential grounding is the safest way to ground.
  • Hands-on equipotential grounding while climbing and working out of an aerial lift device.
  • Hands-on use of the Grounds Trainer Personal Protective Grounding Simulator.

Session 2 - Troubleshooting and system maintenance
Participants will practice several different troubleshooting techniques including proper coverup. Instructors will emphasize becoming proficient at system maintenance while adhering to safe work practices. Participants will be challenged to solve different scenarios such as broken jumpers, delta-bank back feed, tracking insulators, cracked/broken cutouts, transformer testing, and more.

Session 3 - Backyard easements and construction
This session focuses on pole lines in backyard easements, which can be impossible to access with bucket trucks. Participants will practice and demonstrate how to change out a backyard pole. Methods of transferring the energized primary from the old pole to the new safely and correctly will be covered. Participants will experience different rigging strategies needed for backyard construction. Use of backyard machines will also be included.

Session 4 – Transitioning double dead end structures to tangent
We will cover the proper steps needed to change a double dead-end structure into a tangent structure. Safe and proper techniques will be taught along with the proper use of cover-up. Use of macks to maintain continuity will be taught, as well as proper rigging for changing out the crossarm.

Minnesota Lineworkers Rodeo

The Minnesota Lineworkers Rodeo will take place on Tuesday, September 12 (just ahead of the Overhead School). Registration is free to members of MMUA and any lineworker can participate—you don't have to be from Minnesota!

Events include:

  • Hurtman rescue
  • Obstacle course
  • Mystery event

Trophies/plaques will be awarded for top three finishers in each event and each category. Plus we will award an overall trophy in the Apprentice and Journeyman categories.

NOTE: Separate registration is required — registration deadline is August 14. Sorry, no onsite registration.

Optional evening activities

The following optional activities take place on Wednesday evening (at participant's expense). Sign up forms will be available during the school.

  • Archery
  • Golf 
  • Sporting clay shoot


Tuesday, September 12
1:00 pm Registration/check-in
2:00 pm  General session: De-escalation strategies
5:00 pm  Reception/rodeo awards presentation

Wednesday, September 13
8:30 am  Multi-session class
12:00 pm  Lunch (provided)
12:30 pm  Multi-session class
5:00 pm  Archery, golf or sporting clay shoot (at participant’s expense)

Thursday, September 14
8:30 am  Multi-session class
12:00 pm  Lunch (provided)
12:30 pm  Multi-session class

Friday, September 15
8:30 am  General session: The Power of a Minute
12:00 pm  Closing comments and wrap-up

*Schedule/program subject to change without notice.

What to bring

  • High-visibility clothing/outerwearappropriate for the weather
  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Rubber gloves
  • Work boots
  • Harness
  • Fall restraint (if you plan to climb). Required regardless of experience.

Certificate of attendance

Overhead School participants earn 19.5 hours for attendance and a certificate will be available online upon completion. Watch for an email notification from MMUA after the school. Please note: we must have the participant's email address on file in order to send the certificate.

Registration information

Registration fee

Member—$515 per person
Non-Member—$690 per person

Registration fee increases $50 per person on August 4, 2023
Deadline to register: August 14, 2023

Registration fee includes workshop tuition, materials, Tuesday evening reception, Wednesday and Thursday lunch, refreshment breaks and a certificate of attendance.


Cancellations are subject to a $30 charge per person if received by 4:30 pm on August 14, 2023. No refunds issued after August 14.

Hotel information—Marshall, MN

Marshall offers many hotel options, in addition to the hotels listed here. MMUA has arranged for discounted lodging at the AmericInn and EverSpring Inn. Please ask for MMUA’s reduced rate when making your reservation. We recommend making your hotel reservation as soon as possible, as availability cannot be guaranteed. 

AmericInn by Wyndham
1406 East Lyon Street
Marshall, MN

EverSpring Inn & Suites (formerly Ramada Inn)
1500 East College Drive
Marshall, MN

Sleep Inn & Suites
1300 Nwakama Street
Marshall, MN


By registering for this event I, the attendee, authorize Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to photograph me at this event and use such photographs in MMUA marketing materials (both electronic and print). I understand that I will not be paid for giving this consent. 


If you have questions about the program and its content, contact Cody Raveling by phone 507.530.2096 or email craveling@mmua.org.

If you have questions regarding registration please contact Theresa Neddermeyer by phone 763.551.1230 or email tneddermeyer@mmua.org.

A printable version of the Overhead School brochure is also available.