Tampa IBEW Local 915’s JATC (Electrical Training Alliance) was recently in the news in Florida for the dedication of its new building. The training center is dedicated to getting the best electricians in the industry ready for their career – and we took this opportunity to take a closer look at the partnership that Local 915 has not only with their NECA partners, but also with nonprofits and government in the area.

 

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Transcript – Tampa IBEW Local 915

Hi, thanks for being with us on this edition of IBEW Hour Power. As always, I’m your host, Matthew Walton.

If you are at all familiar with the IBEW, you know that when you hire IBEW members, you are hiring the best in the industry. Like anything else in this world, though, we are strong because we stand with our partners to form a unified voice. Nowhere is that more apparent than in our training centers all over the US and Canada.

Today’s story takes you to one such facility, in Tampa, Florida. The newly dedicated portion of their training facility is a partnership like others – but this one stands as a shining example – pairing us with not only our contractor and industry partners, but with others from the community. They’re all dedicated to one thing: helping working men and women succeed.

The Tampa-Area Electrical JATC, is a lot like most electrical training centers around North America. A partnership of IBEW Local 915, member contractors and industry, it is dedicated to training electricians to be the most highly skilled and productive craft workers on a job.

What sets this training center apart, however, is its focus on expanding partnerships to also include workforce development boards, nonprofit training organizations, school districts and more – really, whenever a partnership makes sense, it is considered.

Part of those blossoming partnerships is a newly constructed shop for hands-on training.

David McCraw, Training Director, Tampa-area Electrical JATC AS THE INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED, WE REALIZED THAT IT BECOMES MORE AND MORE IMPORTANT FOR THE APPRENTICES TO HAVE THE SKILLS NECESSARY TO DO THE JOB FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. AND SO THIS HANDS ON TRAINING WILL GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THEM THAT JUMP START THAT THEY NEED, SO THEY CAN BE PRODUCTIVE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.

Randall King, BM, IBEW Local 915 WE WERE BURSTING AT THE SEAMS, BASICALLY. WE STARTED PLANNING THIS MANY YEARS AGO AND THE ECONOMY FALLING APART, WE HAD TO PUT IT ON THE BACK BURNER FOR AWHILE. BUT AS THINGS PICKED UP, WE WERE ABLE TO GO AHEAD AND SEE IT COME TO FRUITION.

The partnerships that Tampa IBEW Local 915 and Central Florida NECA have cultivated over the years have made this new facility a reality. That reality provides opportunity for those interested in the electrical trade to learn from the best.

Susan Miller, Director of Workforce and Continuing Education, Hillsboro County Florida School District IT REALLY GIVES SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TRAINING TO THE CITIZENS OF THIS COMMUNITY AND IT ADDS TO THE WORKFORCE FOR THE TAMPA BAY AREA. ALL OF THAT IS A BIG CIRCLE, IT INCREASES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE AREA, IT BRINGS IN NEW EMPLOYERS TO THE AREA BECAUSE WE DO HAVE THE WORKFORCE AND SO THAT’S WHAT OUR SHARED GOAL IS.

Michael Ramsey, Supervisor of Industrial and Technology education, Hillsboro County Schools THIS PLACE IS AWESOME, THIS IS THE TYPE OF CONNECTION THAT WE LIKE OUR STUDENTS TO HAVE TO TAP INTO AS THEY’RE FINSHED WITH US AT THE HIGH SCHOOLS, THEY CAN TRANSITION HERE TO PREPARE FOR JOBS THAT ARE AVAILABLE FOR THEM RIGHT NOW IN TODAY’S ECONOMY.

And as today’s economy picks up steam, IBEW members coming out of this facility and those like it are well-prepared to be competitive in the 21st century marketplace.

Garrette Wright, 2nd Year Apprentice IT ALLOWS US TO BE THE BEST TRAINED IN THE FIELD. IT ALLOWS US TO BE ABLE TO PUT OUR SKILLS OUT ON THE JOB AND PERFORM. ON TIME AND UNDER BUDGET.

Steven Van Order, 5th Year Apprentice THEIR CLASSES WILL BE SORT OF A HYBRID SCENARIO, WHERE THEY’RE GOING TO BE DOING MUCH MORE OF THEIR WORK AT HOME ON A COMPUTER, LIKE YOU WOULD IN COLLEGE THAT THEY DO TODAY. AND THE MAJORITY OF THEIR CLASSROOM TIME WILL BE OUT IN THE SHOP, LEARNING THE HANDS ON SKILLS THAT ARE NECESSARY TO GET THE JOB DONE.

Those hands-on skills are not only good for IBEW customers and contractors, but in the end they are good for workers. Because those jobs mean benefits, and a stable life.

Michael Ramsey, Supervisor of Industrial and Technology education, Hillsboro County Schools THE IBEW PROVIDES A BRIDGE TO THAT. A FAIR WAGE, TO TAKE CARE FO THEIR FAMILIES, AN OPPORTUNITY TO HEALTH BENEFITS THAT MAY NOT BE THERE IN TRADITIONAL JOBS THAT THEY DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO WITHOUT THIS TYPE OF TRAINING PROGRAM TO FALL BACK ON. SO IT’S A VALUABLE SERVICE TO OUR STUDENTS AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE.

Juditte Dorcy, Program Coordinator, Career Source Tampa Bay STABILITY IS WHAT A LOT OF JOB SEEKERS, WE HEAR THEY ARE LOOKING FOR. NOT JUST A JOB 9-5 LIKE YOU SAID. THEY WANT SOMETHING THEY CAN INVEST IN, TO RAISE THEIR FAMILIES.

David McCraw, Training Director, Tampa-area Electrical JATC WE HAVE JOBS, AND WE HAVE JOBS WITH BENEFITS. AND THAT’S THEIR BUSINESS TO DEVELOP THE LOCAL WORKFORCE AND WE HAVE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES, SO IT’S A GOOD PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN US.

And that’s is why partnership in training is so important –

Michael Ramsey, Supervisor of Industrial and Technology education, Hillsboro County SchoolsIF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TRADE PEOPLE WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS DOING THE JOB, IT MAKES EVERYONE’S JOB GO A LOT SMOOTHER AND THE PEOPLE WITH THE EXPERTISE TO DO THAT ARE RIGHT HERE AT THE IBEW.

The newest part of the Tampa-area Electrical JATC is dedicated to Phillip Humphrey, the first training director of the facility. He was training director from 1969 to 2004, and at the time of his retirement was the longest running apprenticeship training director in the United States.

Undoubtedly, his training center saw a lot of change during his time at the helm, change that continues to this day as the IBEW forges ahead.

Thanks for being with us today on IBEW Hour Power. If you liked this story, why not share it on Facebook or YouTube? Look for the share button on this page and send it along to someone else who might enjoy it.

Until next time, I’m Matthew Walton.

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Matthew Walton

Matthew Walton is the host of IBEW Hour Power and has been with the program since its beginnings in 2007. As an IBEW Hour Power host and producer, Matthew travels across the United States and Canada visiting job sites, training centers, and union halls to tell the stories of the IBEW brothers and sisters that work so hard every day.

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