Taking a walk down memory lane as we look forward to attending the re-dedication of the JATC on December 7th following its $10M renovation to modernize, expand and set our apprentices up for success into the future.
From Early Starts to Significant Outcomes
In 1991, the leader of IBEW and NECA brought the training program to the next level with the move from an elementary school basement room in Newton to the IBEW local 103 campus.
Then again in the early 2000s, labor and management formed and organized a long-range planning group, consisting of NECA contractors and labor leaders who were determined to enhance the existing JATC program. These efforts resulted in a successful workplace safety drug program that remains in place today, an improved and modified curriculum, an enhanced co-op program and a rejuvenated, working relationship with Wentworth Institute of Technology, the premier technology university in Boston. In addition, the JATC underwent an enormous shift when the JATC trustees made the decision to move the JATC from night school to day school in 2012.
The benefits of these changes over the decades remain just as powerful today as they did 20-30 years ago. Not only did it bring in a higher quality of students for program, but the number of apprentices has increased exponentially. Today, the JATC has nearly 2,000 apprenticeships and construction wiremen in the program.
And today, once again, our apprentices and the future of our industry stand to benefit from the significant upgrades and renovations to the JATC to allow for larger classrooms and assembly space, state-of-the-art technology in every room, upgrades to our lab spaces and more collaborative space for our apprentices.
New Clean Energy Pre-Apprenticeship Programs
Next, we have been actively applying for grants with our utility, municipal, commonwealth, and federal partners to support our planned Clean Energy Pre-Apprenticeship Program and expanded work pipelines. These efforts aim to secure additional funding to expand both our JATC training capacity and clean energy market development efforts. Through this process, we are forming new partnerships with industry, government, and non-profit organizations to promote the utilization of our workforce and contractors - solidifying our role as critical stakeholders in the clean energy sector. Stay tuned for more information from NECA/IBEW leadership on this.
Enhanced Apprenticeship Application Process—Ready to Launch December 1
Finally, for the first time ever, we have updated our apprentice application process to be more inclusive and expansive in response to the growing interest from the thousands of applicants we receive each year. The JATC is upgrading to a new aptitude test, eliminating the minimum required score and expanding the application requirements for submission.
After careful consideration by the JATC labor and management trustees, GAN Human Resources Associates, Inc., the premier third-party provider in the industry, has been brought on board. With more than 25 years of experience, including several IBEW/NECA JATCs throughout the country, GAN is dedicated to helping people increase their chances of vocational success and satisfaction.
They follow the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, endorsed as best practice by the DOL, DOJ, Civil Service Commission, EEOC and approved by the MA Department of Apprenticeship Standards.
The new application process will be announced December 1, 2023 to all interested applicants for the 2024 incoming apprenticeship class and, similar to past years, applications will be accepted January 2-31, 2024. There will be a three-part selection plan, including an aptitude test, scheduled to take place in March 2024, a new personal experience form that will remain open January through April.
This criteria provided on the form will be weighed as part of the overall application. This new form will essentially replace the former interview process for those who scored high on the aptitude test. Finally, the application will request letters of recommendation for applicants, which will become a weighed part of the application. These three parts will make up an applicant’s overall score and top-down selections will take place in late Spring. For more information or additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to NECA or the JATC.
Change to increase efficiency, engagement and increased education is always positive. We are confident these new changes will play a pivotal role in our relentless pursuit of excellence in the industry.