SMDI to Train Students on Installation and Maintenance of Steel Utility Distribution Poles

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 4, 2011 –The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) will conduct a Steel Distribution Pole Lineman Training Workshop on April 27, 2011 at the Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska.  The workshop will include classroom and hands-on demonstrations that cover the basics of handling, drilling, installing and climbing steel distribution poles. The training will be conducted by veteran lineman and safety consultant Gary McDonald, who has trained 1,921 student linemen and apprentices, as well as 126 instructors, at 44 different training facilities and technical schools across the United States.

“We conduct the steel pole seminars for utility company personnel as well as for students,” Dan Snyder, manager of SMDI’s utility pole program, said. “Since we began hosting the training workshops in 2005, we’ve instructed 353 utility linemen, supervisors, operators and engineers on the benefits of including steel poles in their distribution systems. We find that these professionals often prefer steel poles to wood poles because of their durability, as well as ease of installation and maintenance. Steel poles are a good investment because they can increase the reliability of a utility’s distribution system and can offer lower overall life cycle costs.”

Snyder said that more than 600 electric utility companies in the U.S. use steel poles in their distribution systems. Steel poles are fabricated with uniform dimensions from ASTM tolerance materials, providing superior strength, consistent performance and enhanced reliability. They also have the flexibility to be designed as direct wood pole replacements and can be engineered to meet any specific loading criteria.

For more information on the SMDI steel pole workshops, contact Dan Snyder at

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), grows and maintains the use of steel through strategies that promote cost-effective solutions in the automotive, construction and container markets, as well as for new growth opportunities in emerging steel markets.  For more news or information, visit

The steel utility distribution pole program is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute. The investor companies of the Construction Market Council include:

• AK Steel Corporation
• ArcelorMittal Dofasco
• ArcelorMittal USA LLC
• Nucor Corporation
• SSAB Americas
• Steelscape, Inc.
• ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC
• United States Steel Corporation
• USS-POSCO Industries

Debbie Bennett
Manager, SMDI and Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179