The American Line Builders Apprenticeship Training Center, or ALBAT Center, is new and improved and cranking out better-trained and more skilled lineman than ever before!

The popularity and success of the ALBAT Center drew linemen from far and wide to attend classes and continuing education courses. When demand outgrew capacity, there was no other choice but to expand. The new facility has three state-of-the-art buildings: a 13-thousand sq. ft. indoor climbing facility, a pole yard with over 125 poles, and a dorm that can house up to 112 students.

The ALBAT Center is something else…and something that you have to see for yourself. Not only does it provide a chance to learn, it provides a sense of brotherhood and community. In short, ALBAT is a symbol for what makes the NECA/IBEW Powering America Team so strong.

 

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Transcript: ALBAT Lineman Training Center

The saying “Showing up is half the battle” may be true for some jobs…but we all know it doesn’t apply to electrical construction.

The unique combination of brain and brawn is one of the characteristics that separate those in the IBEW from their competition.

And for outside electrical workers – that’s born out here at the nation’s premiere training facility in Medway, Ohio.

The America Line Builders Apprenticeship Training Center – or ALBAT Center – is a combined effort between NECA, the IBEW, and the Powering America Team across these 8 states.

Its goal is simple: to prepare new members for a career and to provide continuing education for current members to stay on top of their craft.

Randy Gardiner: ALBAT Trustee & Assistant Business Agent, IBEW Local 1393

“We teach everything from substation to transmission to distribution, underground, cable splicing. In my opinion we are at the top of the chain on that.”

Matt Weis: Instructor, ALBAT

“I think it’s the best program in the country. I’m biased because I’ve been through it and I teach here now. I think we have the best program, the best facility and the best students.”

Students here buckle down for an intensive 3-week long program. They live, breathe, eat, and sleep this stuff – gaining the fundamental skills and knowledge in a highly compressed schedule. Then they go out to finish their apprenticeship on the job.

Thomas Householder: AEP

“I feel very comfortable knowing that the IBEW with their training programs associated with the ALBAT training program and NECA programs we know when they are on our project it’s going to be a safe project.”

Daniel Doss: Training Director, ALBAT

“They are getting the best lineman that the industry has because of the course material that the electrical training alliance with, on the job hours, along with hands on trainers and simulators.”

The instructors know it. The customer knows it. And students who have been through the program know it. With all this positivity surrounding the program, as you might imagine, availability became an issue.

Since 2003 ALBATs enrollment has tripled. The solution? A ten million dollar renovation!

This is what ALBAT looked like before…and this is what it looks like now – a sprawling campus with three state-of-the-art buildings. The indoor climbing facility is 13-thousand sq. ft. – double the size of what it used to be. The pole yard now has over 125 poles, and when it comes to housing – previous to the renovation – overflow students would have to stay in hotels. But now, 112 students can stay on campus in the new dorm.

Eric Marsh: 1st Year Apprentice, IBEW Local 71

“Being here and being in a dorm is awesome. Better than being in a hotel room by yourself. I met a great group of guys, we study together we eat together. It’s really forming a brotherhood of what line work is.”

Scott Jackson: 1st Year Apprentice, IBEW Local 702

“It’s been grueling if you will but it’s great. I’ve learned a lot of technique and attention to detail. I feel ALBAT is going to give me the tools and confidence. It’s not being cocky, it’s about attention to details, trusting your equipment and following exact instructions to a T because that’s what it takes to come home at the end of the day.”

There are more than a dozen classes available for journeymen to stay current, but as anyone will tell you, getting to class can be tough with how spread out the work of an outside electrical worker can be.

But as it turns out…they have thought of this too.

Daniel Doss: Training Director, ALBAT

“We can actually tie our class into a local union or contractor shop that has a laptop or projector and they can be pulled into this training center without even being here. Having that capability to have a virtual classroom is key for this industry.”

Matt Weis: Instructor, ALBAT

“You can have all three classrooms packed and everyone hearing and seeing the same thing. It’s pretty awesome.”

In the end ALBAT is about more than just the training. It is where brotherhood begins and continues.

Zach Doan: 1st Year Apprentice, IBEW Local 702

“I’m really looking forward to seeing some of these guys out in the field and see who stuck it out and how they are doing.”

Randy Addleman: 1st Year Apprentice, IBEW Local 702

“It is a brotherhood and bond that you get with these guys, we are together all the time and they are going through the same thing I am so we push each other and pick each other up.”

Scott Jackson: 1st Year Apprentice, IBEW Local 702

“I have to say just the brotherhood and the camaraderie knowing that when there’s a storm I might run into one of my brothers from ALBAT.”

Reporting for IBEW Hour Power in Medway, Ohio – I’m Erica McClaugherty.

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Erica McClaugherty

Erica McClaugherty joined the IBEW Hour Power team in 2015 and has been traveling around the United States and Canada ever since, bringing the stories of hard working IBEW brothers and sisters to life.

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