A pre-apprenticeship is a program or set of services designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a registered apprenticeship program.

Although a pre-apprenticeship can be helpful, it’s not required (and often not necessary) to become a registered apprentice. Pre-apprenticeships may be a good fit for individuals who:

  • Have little or no experience in the construction trade
  • Experience barriers to employment
  • Need to improve their math skills
  • Need assistance obtaining supplies or equipment
  • Need help meeting minimum qualifications for a registered apprenticeship

Check out local pre-apprenticeship program options here:

Electrical Training Alliance Pre-Apprenticeship Program

The application opening period for the 2021 Electrical Training Alliance Pre-Apprenticeship Program is closed. Information about the 2022 program will be posted in April 2022.

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 populations served by this US Department of Labor grant are Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, veterans, spouses of veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons with income below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.

2021 Class:

  • Classroom and Lab Training: June 30 – August 13, 2021; M-F, 7 AM – 3 PM (unpaid)
  • On-the-Job Experience: August 16 – August 27, 2021 (paid)

Program Requirements

  • Population served by the U.S. Department of Labor grant: Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, veterans, spouses of veterans, persons with disabilities, and persons with income below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • As of April 12, 2021, ranked 100 – 300 on the Inside Electrician list, or 25 – 100 on the Limited Energy list.
    • You need to have a current rank on our list of eligible candidates. This means that you have already applied, aptitude tested and interviewed for either the Inside Electrician or Limited Energy Technician apprenticeship program.
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Ability to pass a drug test; the electrical industry does not permit cannabis use
  • If disability, submit 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, submit proof that income is below 185% of the federal poverty guideline (see FAQ at
  • 18 years of age or older by the start of the on-the-job experience

Pre-Apprentices will receive:

  • A stipend totaling $500, beginning in smaller weekly increments and increasing throughout the program
  • Students will receive work boots, school books, and tools, which they receive ownership of upon successful completion of the program
  • Access to online curriculum
  • Pre-apprentices who successfully complete all classwork, demonstrate a good attitude, attendance, and aptitude for the trade, and receive favorable reports for their two weeks of on-the-job training will be considered for direct entry into the Inside Electrician or Limited Energy program. Pre-apprentices are not guaranteed direct entry

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.

How to Apply

The application opening period for the 2021 Electrical Training Alliance Pre-Apprenticeship Program is closed. Information about the 2022 program will be posted in April 2022.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions. If you have an unanswered question, email


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

The curriculum includes 220 hours of classroom and lab instruction including math review; commercial, residential, and limited energy wiring; conduit bending; certifications in OSHA 10, CPR/AED; First Aid, and lift training.

For the final two weeks of the program, students work for an electrical contractor for on-the-job experience and further evaluations. Qualities evaluated include skills and abilities, work ethic and professionalism, and attitude.

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
  • Ability to follow safety protocols
  • Ability to navigate and use the on-line coursework
  • Completion of homework assignments on time
  • Compliance with drug testing
  • Appropriate attire for classroom and the job-site

Participants will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Math and reading skills
  • Identification of tools and materials
  • Ability to work with tools safely and efficiently
  • Ability to read and draw electrical circuits
  • Wiring of electrical circuits according to drawings
  • Hand fabrication of electrical conduit runs
  • Installing & terminating low-voltage cabling

“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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