Twelve Charles County Public School students earned the title of being the first high school seniors to graduate as Pre-Apprenticeship Electrical Helpers from the College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) Regional Hughesville Campus Center for Trades and Energy Training.
The students’ success and May 27 graduation ceremony is a result of their hard work, and a partnership between CSM, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) and the Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake (IECC), who collaborated to pilot a 200-hour electrical trade job readiness program that will ready students for in-demand and high-paying electrical trades careers.
The Charles County high school seniors who graduated from the pre-apprentice program are Joshua H. Bowie; Ethan I. Chapple; Chase M. Duffy; Jason R. Eastburn; Jair A. Guillen; Jackson L. Hebb; Cameron Jackman-Gordon; Jacob A. Martin; Dylan B. Moreland; Jayden D. Nickens; Damon Powell and Yazmin E. Taylor.
The 12 started the program in February 2021 and were given classroom instruction and hands-on training in a program that will serve as an on-ramp to their careers upon receiving their high school diplomas in this month. In addition, the graduates completed the course with industry-certified credentials and will receive support from IEC Chesapeake to secure employment over the summer. Once employed, students are then eligible to begin year one of the registered electrical apprenticeship program in the fall at CSM or another IEC Chesapeake location.
Global Trade Daily recently reported that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction employment was projected to grow at a faster pace than average between 2019 and 2029—adding 4% more jobs, compared to 3.7% for other industries. Among the jobs anticipated to be most in demand are solar photovoltaic installers (up 50.5%), tile and stone workers (up 8.6%), and electricians (up 8.4%).
“I am honored to work with our partners at Independent Electrical Contractors and these industrious Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship students from Charles County Public Schools,” said CSM Director of the Center for Trades and Energy Training Michael Langton. “Our partnership with IEC Chesapeake allowed us to work closely together to create a robust curriculum and provide the space for the hands-on and classroom training. Working in collaboration, CCPS, CSM, and IEC Chesapeake have created a career pathway for young people to begin their journey into the electrical trade, and these students will continue to train with IECC and CSM; ultimately, moving toward a journey-level and master-level license as an electrician.”
“IEC Chesapeake is excited to have completed its inaugural pre-apprenticeship program with Charles County Public Schools,” said IEC Chesapeake Executive Director Grant Shmelzer. “All students who successfully completed the program will enter into fulltime employment with IEC Chesapeake members and start year one of the apprenticeship program in September at the College of Southern Maryland.”
Beginning next year, CSM and IECC will also offer the pre-apprentice program to Calvert County public school students.
About the Pre-Apprenticeship Electrical Helpers program: Southern Maryland high school seniors who sign up for the pre-apprenticeship will be provided transportation by their home school county. They will learn basic concepts of electricity, electrical theory, national electric code basics, grounding, hand and power tools for electricians, wiring methods, instillation techniques, math and metrics for electricians, green technologies, how to find and keep a job and are certified in OSHA-10 Safety, CPR and First Aid for the workplace.
About IEC-Chesapeake: IEC Chesapeake has been the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier electrical and renewable energy contractor association and electrical apprenticeship program provider since 1982. Among the largest chapters of the national Independent Electrical Contractors Association (IEC), its members comprise more than 150 contractors and industry partners, and represent over 10,000 men and women in all facets of the electrical industry.