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Zuriel Ramirez-Chavez and Justin Covil using instruments on a cart connected to a large instrument panel

Two ICC students selected for Duke Energy internships

By: Mike Gavin
Published: March 01, 2024

Zuriel Ramirez-Chavez and Justin Covil standing in front of Duke Energy poster
Zuriel Ramirez-Chavez and Justin Covil standing in front of Duke Energy poster

SPINDALE (March 1, 2024) – Two Isothermal Community College students from Polk County are set for a powerful learning experience this summer.

Zuriel Ramirez-Chavez of Mill Spring and Justin Covil of Tryon will participate in a Protective Relay Technician internship with Duke Energy starting in May. In August, they’ll return to the Spindale campus to complete the final year of their Electronics Engineering Technologies degrees in the Electrical Utilities Track.

The program teaches students how to operate, maintain, and troubleshoot substations, an important part of the power grid that takes the electricity from transmission lines and converts it for residential, commercial, and industrial services.

“We’ve really built a good foundation and can’t wait to get started on the internship,” said Covil.

Ramirez-Chavez agreed.

“Beyond the technical parts, we’ve really learned a lot about human performance and safety,” he added.

Steve Hollifield, the program instructor, said Duke Energy has been an important partner in this curriculum.

“We are excited that Duke Energy has continued to work with us and hire our graduates,” said Hollifield. “Not only have they created great opportunities and high paying careers, they’ve supported Isothermal with grants and technical assistance right here in our newly named Duke Energy Electrical Utility Lab.”

For more information about the Electronics Engineering Technologies Program, the Electric Utilities Track, or the Protective Relay Technician Program, contact Hollifield at or 828-395-1521. Registration is open now.