IBEW apprentices earn degrees

Staff report

Thanks to a unique partnership between a local union and Eastern Gateway Community College, nine students finished a five-year apprenticeship program and earned associate degrees together.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 246 and the Steubenville Division of the National Electrical Contractors Association recently celebrated the apprentices’ graduation with a dinner and ceremony.

The celebration marks the completion of more than 8,000 hours of on-the-job training accompanied by 1,000 hours of classroom training. This is the eighth group of inside wiremen to complete the training and also receive an associate degree of technical studies in electrical trades technology.

Christina Wanat, interim vice president of student affairs, said EGCC accepts IBEW Local Union 246 apprentices nearly every year. Under the program, it is mandatory for apprentices to earn an associate degree to open up more opportunities for continuing education. Students in the program, which is approved through the state, are all union electricians, and only a certain number of participants are accepted.

Students attend night classes at the IBEW training center and receive up to 47 credits through EGCC toward an associate degree. Participants are able to attain journeymen status and simultaneously go through multiple certification processes.

The IBEW Local Union 246 includes all of Jefferson, Columbiana and Harrison counties in Ohio; Parts of Carroll County in Ohio and all of Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia. The graduating apprentices received certificates of completion from the U.S. Department of Labor and NJATC. Ohio state Rep. Jack Cera, D-96th, also presented certificates.

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