In 2015, the Department of Labor solicited applications for a grant under the American apprenticeship Initiative. The initiative supports a uniquely American Apprenticeship system that meets our country’s economic and workforce needs. The federal grant was awarded to the Electrical Training Alliance to identify pre-apprentices and equip them for entry into new careers in high-paying occupations in the electrical industry.

The focus of the Electrical Training Alliance Pre-Apprenticeship Program (ETAP) is to provide apprenticeship opportunities to communities who have historically been under-represented in the electrical industry. The population that is served by this US Department of Labor grant is women, black, indigenous, and people of color, veterans, spouses of veterans, persons with disabilities, persons with income below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Next Class

Check back in Spring 2021 for information about a Summer 2021 ETAP.

Check out other pre-apprenticeship program options here:


ETAP curriculum aligns with the Electrical Training Alliance’s national curriculum and lab exercises that correspond to industry norms.

During the course the participant will be able to demonstrate:

  • Adherence to the attendance policy
  • Work ethic in the classroom, labs, and on the job
  • Follow safety protocols
  • Navigate and use the on-line coursework
  • Complete homework assignments on time
  • Comply with drug testing
  • Appropriate attire for classroom and the job-site

Participants will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Math and algebra skills
  • Identification of tools and materials
  • Working with tools safely and efficiently
  • Reading & drawing electrical circuits
  • Wiring electrical circuits according to drawings
  • Hand fabricating electrical conduit runs
  • Installing & terminating low-voltage cabling

Program Requirements

Population Served by Grant: Women, black, indigenous, and people of color, veterans, spouses of veterans, persons with disabilities, persons with income below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines

GPA or GED Requirement; one of the following:

  • High school or college graduate from a state-accredited school with a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • GED with one of the following minimum scores:
    • Prior to 01/01/02 – 255
    • 01-01-02 – 12/31/13 – 2550
    • After 01/01/14 – 600 with a minimum score of 150 on the math test

Algebra Requirement; one of the following:

  • High school or college algebra (full year) with a C or better*
  • College algebra with a C or better*
  • GED math test score, taken after 01/01/14, with a minimum score of 150
  • College placement test with placement into Math 95 or higher
  • Successful completion of the ETA online Tech Math class found here:
      • *Must be algebra – not pre-algebra, geometry, calculus, etc.

Also Required:

  • Legible copy of valid driver’s license
  • Ability to pass a drug test; the electrical industry does not permit cannabis use
  • If disability, signed documentation from medical provider (within 5 years) of disability and necessary accommodation
  • If a veteran, submit a copy of DD-214
  • If low-income, proof that income is below 150% of the federal poverty guideline (see FAQ at
  • Must be 18 years of age or older by the start of the on-the-job training

Please note:

Dependable transportation is a necessity for training and employment in the electrical industry. An electrical worker is responsible for reporting to their job site, which might be over 50 miles away, often by 6:00 am. Public transportation is almost never adequate. Given the hours and location of the pre-apprenticeship program’s related classroom instruction and on-the-job training, public transportation may fail to get you to and from home to job-site, to class and back home.

The geographical area covered – State of Oregon: Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington Counties, and Yamhill County North of Section Line T45. State of Washington:  Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, and Wahkiakum Counties.

“We have been very happy with the etA pre-apprentice program, finding potential applicants that likely wouldn’t have applied to the apprentice program. Most of the pre-apprentices are extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn about the trade and get enough experience during the program to make them a competitive applicant and ultimately a successful apprentice.”

-Rod Belisle, NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center -Training Director

The Oregon-Columbia, Chapter, NECA and it’s affiliated electrical contractor members are extremely pleased with the efforts and results of our pre-apprenticeship program which continues to strengthen not only our commitment to diversity, but our resolve to make the electrical construction industry all inclusive.

-Timothy Gauthier, Oregon-Columbia Chapter -Director

“The NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center is fortunate to have been selected as a grant recipient to run this pre-apprenticeship. The ten-week program provides a mutual student-trade compatibility assessment between the instructors and the student. Those who graduate have truly proven their grit and passion for the trade. The program allows us to strengthen our membership by providing exposure and opportunity to individuals who are typically not represented in our industry.”

– Bridget Quinn, NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center – Workforce Development Coordinator

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