GNA Success Stories – Zak Matuleski

Get to know Zak Matuleski and his quest to become a journeyman lineman

“I had no idea what I wanted to do out of high school. Sat around till I decided to go to LCCC and earn an Associate’s Degree in general studies because I didn’t want people to think I was a loser going nowhere. The degree didn’t do much for me other than create debt. Decided to try my hand at becoming an electrician–got denied from the apprenticeship to the IBEW and was forced to take a lower paying job, still doing inside electrical work. After doing this for two years, I was approached by a gentleman whose property I was fishing on. This man was a IBEW Journeyman Lineman. He convinced me to apply to line school in hopes of helping me get into the outside electrical industry, where he was a member. I took a personal loan out for fifteen grand to go to line school at North American Lineman Training Center in McEwen, Tennessee, in 2016. While in Tennessee, I earned my CDL and a diploma. When I returned home, I applied to the NEAT program, which is the apprenticeship for the outdoor electrical industry. I interviewed and was eventually accepted, and began my career shortly afterwards. I had a three-year apprenticeship till I topped out and got my journeyman lineman ticket. Being a lineman means you’re the first one called when a storm rolls through and the power goes out. Society depends on line workers to turn the lights back on.

Looking back, my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. If I can help to convince one kid to take the steps at a trade over being pushed by society to go to college because it seems normal, I’d walk away from this happy. Success can be any one person’s own journey. You don’t need to follow what society says the norm is to get there. But no matter what you do, hard work will determine your own success or failure. Sitting around and waiting for something to happen isn’t going to get you anywhere in life.”

Zak Matuleski, 2012
Journeyman Lineman