Not all electrician apprentice programs are the same. Just ask Charley Grimes.
According to Grimes, a current apprentice in the local union commercial/industrial electrical program, “I learned more in a five month period here that I did in a year (in a non-union shop). Two-three years went by, and I wasn’t really getting any training—I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere there and I knew that applying to the apprenticeship and joining the union would give me a career.”
The Youngstown and Warren Area Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Commercial/Industrial Electrical Programs strive to create an educated, well-trained workforce in the fields of commercial and industrial electrical construction.
During a five-year program, students attend 1,000 hours of related trade classes and receive corresponding credit from Cuyahoga Community College—credits that can be used toward an associate’s degree. Apprentices complete a minimum of 8,000 hours of on-the-job training with experienced electrical contractors and, upon completion, receive a journeyman certificate.
During their apprenticeship, electrical apprentices learn layout, assembly, installation and connection of all electrical equipment, fixtures and wiring used in electrical system renovation, maintenance and new construction projects.
Installation, connection and troubleshooting of electrical machinery, control devices, industrial equipment and signal communications are also a large part of the local union programs.
Learn more about what it takes to become a commercial electrician—hear what Grimes and other local union apprentices have to say about their electrical apprenticeship experience.
“The pay is good, the benefits are good, and there is a brotherhood in the union as an electrician that you just don’t find anywhere else,” said Grimes.