In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor solicited applications for the American Apprenticeship Initiative. This initiative demonstrated the importance of apprenticeship and its level of success. It also demonstrates that the Federal Government has come to recognize apprenticeship as an extremely valuable career path. The electrical training ALLIANCE applied for and was awarded a portion of the overall federal grant to identify pre-apprentices and equip them for entry into new careers in high-paying occupations in the electrical industry. The NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center was offered the opportunity to be one of fourteen initial program participants in the first year of the program. Details were disseminated and the program was kicked off in early 2016. The program locally started on May 19, 2016 with 20 participants.
The U.S. Department of Labor and the electrical training ALLIANCE are the funding sources for this Pre-Apprenticeship Program. This program provides 300-hours of training over a 10 week period that includes classroom instruction in academic, computer skills, and on-the-job training experiences. The pre-apprenticeship program training will include introductory and orientation lessons, financial literacy training, safety training, introductory job lessons, union history and preparation for application and selection process into the registered electrical apprenticeship program. Exposure through Pre-Apprenticeship classes and other activities will prepare participants for application to one of the apprenticeship program here at the NIETC, after completion of the Pre-Apprenticeship program. By requirements of the grant, all participants served must be from underrepresented populations, which includes women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and veterans.
The NIETC utilized relationships with Oregon Tradeswomen, Constructing Hope, and PCC pre-apprenticeship, along with local Worksource centers, veteran organizations and IBEW affiliated groups such as the EWMC to solicit applications, interview applicants and compile a final class of 20 excellent candidates. Upon completion of the 10 week (5 days per week, 6 hours per day) program, participants will be encouraged to apply to the NIETC apprenticeship program of their liking, while demonstrating their ability to meet all existing program entry requirements. These students will be encouraged to maintain employment as Material Handlers with NECA contractors while completing the program and during the application, testing and selection process.
The end results of this program will assist the NIETC in meeting its required Affirmative Action and Veteran requirements as set out by Federal and State Apprenticeship agencies, as well as providing the local workforce of the IBEW with potentially 20 new proven and committed individuals into the electrical industry. The best news is that the Federal grant pays all the expenses for this training, enabling us to maintain the integrity of the standard apprenticeship ranking.
Please welcome these individuals as they commit their futures to careers in the electrical industry.