City residents have a better opportunity for employment in the electrical industry because Electrical Alliance contractors have teamed up with Washington D.C.’s Step Up Program.
Washington D.C.’s Step Up Program allows residents who do not initially qualify for apprenticeship programs to be employed in skilled trades for up to a year while receiving supplemental training to help them better qualify for available apprenticeship opportunities.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26 and Washington D.C. Chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), who make up the The Electrical Alliance, have collaborated with the Department of Employment Services, Office of Apprenticeship for the District of Columbia, since 1998.
“Step Up provides the opportunity to be more successful as an electrician because we apply the same standards as we do in the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) apprenticeship program. Step Up apprentices are expected to walk in the same shoes as a normal apprentice, from the interview process to on-site work,” said Larry R. Greenhill Sr., vice president of IBEW Local 26 and Local 26 Minority Coalition president.
The JATC, sponsored by the Electrical Alliance, offers accredited apprenticeship programs that prepare students to excel in tomorrow’s electrical industry and continuing education that readies experienced electricians for work on tomorrow’s systems.Currently there are two JATC Step Up classes, one funded solely by Local Union 26 and the second by the Department of Employment Services.
The Step Up program interviews potential candidates and the 15-20 accepted participants receive a salary paid by the Electrical Alliance contractor to which they are assigned. Participants receive tools, books, instruction, and attend JATC classes and work on construction projects throughout the city.
Electrical Alliance Contractor, Freestate Electric is actively involved in the Step Up Program. Freestate’s Vice President Gregg S. Kaderabek said, “Step Up enables D.C. resident’s higher job opportunities while enabling Electrical Alliance contractors to employ potentially qualified apprentice workers for participating jobsites. This is a great example of how government, labor and industry can work together to overcome challenges.”
The JATC graduates approximately 100 apprentices each year. More information is available at www.washdcjatc.org.