Crowder & BEI Begin Electrical Apprenticeship - KOAM TV 7

Crowder & BEI Begin Electrical Apprenticeship

Joplin, MO -

     Crowder College has teamed up with a local business to create an apprenticeship program that could be the first of many.
Officials said it's a win-win for companies and students.

 As Zach Stovall installed lights at a remodeling job, Dwight Harvey the project manager of Bills Electric Incorporated echoed a common industry problem, "We're short of tradesmen, we're short of tradesmen."

So, BEI hopes to better train workers like Stovall through an apprenticeship program sponsored by Crowder College.
It combines more than two thousand hours of on the job training with one hundred forty-four hours of classroom time at the Advanced Training and Technology center each year for four years.


Harvey, who will instruct the classes said, "We kind of give the guys the whats behind what they're actually doing out there in the field. So, we're gonna go over the code book, the grounding, the bonding, the different calculations that are required to do what they're doing out here in the field."

Zach is one of twelve apprentices for BEI and while its good for the companys future workforce, the apprenticeship program is also good for these employees when it come to their earning potential.

Harvey said, "I think you can make fifty to one hundred percent more.
Stovall added, "I want to get up to the journeyman stage  and over the years learn that better,  then work my way up."

Kathy Collier is the grants director at Crowder College which created the curriculum. She said, "We have to have standards approved by the Department of Labor and once the folks complete that, they'll get a certificate from the Department of Labor which is a national, portable certificate."

Besides electrical,  Crowder also  has a carpentry apprenticeship. And  now as a Department of Labor Apprenticeship Sponsor, Crowder hopes help smaller companies by possibly creating an apprentice consortium.
Collier explained,
They  may only have one or two employees they want to send. 

Other apprenticeship programs are larger schools are based on an eight week classroom program then eight weeks on the job and alternating. Collier added of small companies here, They cant afford to have ten or twelve employees off for eight weeks.  That's why being flexible and doing this hybrid, works not only better for us  but for the student as well as the employers"

Harvey said the apprenticeship program was necessary for the future of their company and can be for others. He explained, "It helps us train the work force better. The leaders of tomorrow, the foreman of tomorrow,  the project manager of tomorrow. What were trying to do is have a better trained work force."

The BEI program was made possible through an Apprenticeship USA Grant through Missouri Workforce Development.
     It includes a navigator who helps students with interpersonal skills, work ethic, company culture and time and financial management.

Future Crowder apprenticeship programs would require other funding or more grants could be sought.

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