I am the Executive Director of IEC Chesapeake- and have been- for over twenty years. If there’s one big take away from working with electricians (and all Trades), it’s BE SPECIFIC.
An electrician cannot install “a light”. They are going to ask if it’s commercial? Residential? ADA compliant? Lamping source? High pressure sodium or LED? Wall mount of ceiling mount? Be specific.
They aren’t called specifications for nothing.
So, when I hear talk about “great futures, more work than ever, best numbers in the world”, I get frustrated when these comments are not followed up with specifics. Exactly HOW is all of this getting achieved? Exactly WHAT is being offered and WHERE?
IEC Chesapeake can be very specific. Our core mission is electrical apprenticeship, it’s delivery of a four- year Journeyman certification, post graduate CEU’s, a three –year telecom technician’s apprenticeship, their technical, academic, hands on training needs and EMPLOYMENT.
Registered apprentices are employed (and must be employed) during their four years in school. They are working full time while completing their certifications.
This is real and this is specific.
Here’s something else real and specific: Baby Boomers are retiring and Trades are hiring.
“Of the more than 76 million Baby Boomers, only 80% are currently still in the labor workforce. That number is expected to drop to 40% by 2022.” Lendio, Jesse Sumrak
All jobs face an aging workforce. The Boomers are such a huge slice of the workforce pie that all types of work are in the throws of assessing how best to fill the potential loss of skills and knowledge. Some can lure back older workers or create incentives to keep the older worker from retiring at present.
Of course, this won’t work for everyone, and the Trades are not only mentally demanding, they are often physically demanding.
Noteworthy too is that the electrical, and construction firms with electrical divisions, are not only losing installers- they are losing job Superintendents, Estimators, and Project Managers. This means they will be looking for these people- and looking to cultivate the current, younger workforce into these managerial positions.
This is real, and this is specific.
What has made me so reflective this week? As a member of the National Skills Coalition, I’ve just come off our Skills Summit in Washington. Apprenticeship and its growth are always among the hot topics.
Don’t take my word for it- see these stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017 numbers) and their graphics on how shortages of skilled technicians will mean real job availability now through 2026.
Apprentices, take note.
Talk really is cheap. Demand specifics; if a career in the electrical industry appeals to you, we have all the details you need to get started, get your education, and get employed.
Grant Shmelzer, Executive Director