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IBEW, TTA Partnership bearing fruit in Electrical Careers

By La Prensa Staff

As higher profile high school students sign national letters of intent this week to play college football at major programs across the country, other students had a signing ceremony of their own to continue their careers in the electrical trades here in the Toledo area.


The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Toledo Technology Academy (TTA), 3301 Upton Ave., jointly hosted that signing ceremony for Toledo Public Schools (TPS) students who intend to enter a skilled trade once they graduate. IBEW Local #8 and TTA have forged a partnership to assist students in getting into the labor union’s electrical trades program.

IBEW Local #8 currently represents more than 2,000 members in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, but there continues to be a growing need for apprentices and recruits, as the role of skilled craftsmen in the electrical construction industry expands as technology advances and the Toledo metro area experiences a building boom of sorts.

TTA students may be uniquely qualified to fill many of those roles in the expanding opportunities in the industry, which includes commercial, industrial, alternative energy, instrumentation, residential and voice-data-video. The signing ceremony, held Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, highlighted the various directions students will be heading based on their areas of interest.

A committee within IBEW Local #8, the Latin Labor Council was formally established four years ago to recruit qualified Latino high school students. Council members attend job fairs, career days, and give presentations at high schools—averaging one appearance per month. The group also volunteers to do community service projects for low-income homeowners and mentors TPS students.

“A lot of the baby boomers are retiring in the next four or five years and a lot of us are part of that group,” Ricardo Jiménez, Latin Labor Council president, said earlier this year while attended the first-ever TPS Career Connect Expo. “We didn’t see many other minorities or Latinos getting into Local 8, so we decided to form a diverse organization. One of our main objectives is to go out and get the word out, provide information to those that don’t know anything about the skilled trades, especially the IBEW so they can pursue a career in the electrical industry.”

Once they graduate TTA, students who signed letters of intent will attend classes and labs as part of an electrical apprenticeship program at the Joint Electrical Training Center in Rossford, OH. The program is jointly sponsored by IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Students receive paid on-the-job training for classroom-based instruction and field training. Most programs of this kind take four to six years to complete, but their pay will increase the farther they get in the program.

To gain entry, students must have a high school diploma or GED, have a driver’s license, complete an algebra class, pass a drug test, pass an admittance exam, be able to work in a physically demanding environment, and be age 18.

According to Jiménez, high school students can even join a “helper” program once they graduate and turn 18. That’s an opportunity to “earn while they learn” on the jobsite with a union electrical contractor, guided by a mentor electrician. The program gives a “hands-on” opportunity to test their interest in the electrical industry as a career—pretty much a paid job-shadowing opportunity.

Anyone who wants to learn more can find the Latino Labor Council through its Facebook page or call the JATC directly at 419.666.8088. The website for the JATC is www.tejatc.org.




Copyright © 1989 to 2019 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12/17/19 13:57:22 -0800.




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