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IEC program shows increased opportunities for youth

KELLY M. SCHULZ with Grant Shmelzer

KELLY M. SCHULZ, Secretary of Labor, Licensing, & Regulation with Grant Shmelzer, IEC Chesapeake President.

BALTIMORE (June 5, 2018) – Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz today welcomed the Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake (IEC) to the Maryland Apprenticeship Ambassador Program. The IEC, a registered apprenticeship sponsor since 1982 and a leader in developing youth apprenticeship opportunities, joins the state’s incentive program to help raise awareness about registered apprenticeship.

“IEC Chesapeake’s demonstrated leadership in preparing Maryland’s workforce for good-paying, secure jobs – especially for our next generation of workers through youth apprenticeship – makes them a perfect fit for the ambassador program,” said Secretary Schulz. “Their innovation, passion, and flexibility will help us attract more talent of all ages and backgrounds to one of the fastest growing occupations in construction and help grow Maryland’s economy by filling in-demand jobs.”

Apprenticeship ambassadors voluntarily cultivate and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders, encouraging job seekers and businesses to engage in apprenticeship opportunities. For their commitment, ambassadors receive special recognition from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, customized advice and counsel on navigating the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program, the latest in apprenticeship news and emerging workforce trends, and valuable media exposure.

The presentation was made to IEC Executive Director Grant Shmelzer during IEC’s graduation ceremony for the Pathways to Success Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Thirteen high school students completed a rigorous 200-hour electrical trade program that included a combination of hands-on training and classroom instruction. The program is in partnership with the Maryland Department of Labor, Howard County Office of Workforce Development, and the Howard County Public School System.

“With a growing shortage of qualified electrical workers, it has never been a better time to join the electrical industry,” said Shmelzer. “There are plenty of job opportunities available and electricians are among the highest paid jobs in the construction sector. We are looking forward to continuing to spread that message while serving as an apprenticeship ambassador.”