Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA Partnership Advances Career Development

ST. LOUIS – A college education partnership established last year by the Electrical Connection partnership is paying dividends with its first graduating class. The career development initiative with Saint Louis Community College (STLCC) graduated 14 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 journey workers with degrees in the Skilled Trades Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of IBEW and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association.



IBEW/NECA is already the most prolific producer of highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians through its award-winning IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center. “We are proud of our graduates and the initiative they’ve taken to grow their careers through our education partnership with Saint Louis Community College,” noted Frank Jacobs, IBEW Local 1 business manager.  “It’s a great opportunity for apprentices and journey workers to gain a college degree without the large debt or student loans.”


The STLCC education partnership offers Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Skilled Trades Industrial Occupations Technology Apprenticeship program, or Skilled Trades AAS program.  The STLCC Skilled Trades AAS program is a joint effort to recognize apprenticeship training as postsecondary education to prepare the current and future workforce. An associate degree is awarded to a journey worker who successfully completes the approved U.S. Department of Labor apprentice program and 15 credit hours of general education courses at STLCC.


“By equipping our workforce with the knowledge, skills and certifications they need to strengthen career advancement, we strengthen our entire industry and its future leadership,” said Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter, NECA.


Graduates from the Skilled Trades AAS program include:

· William Winkler

· Kyle Mayfield

· RobertPapin

· Jason Boehm

· Robert Rice

· Darin Baker

· Robert Hitchcock

· Andrew Cassidy

· Michael Semar

· Shawn Walsh

· Michael Brammeier

· Nicholas Funke

· Kyle Jakubs

· Marquis Thompson


The foundation of their education has been the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center at 2300 Hampton Ave.   It is entirely industry funded by IBEW/NECA at no taxpayer expense.  IBEW/NECA invests $3 million annually in training.  That includes 10,000 hours of training for apprentices, who earn a wage while they learn, and continuing education programs for journey workers.  The training center’s more than 70-course curriculum uses advanced technology including a rooftop solar array and courses on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and next generation electrical/communication installations, including green energy, smart building technology and advanced manufacturing.


“Enhancing the training center with the STLCC education partnership furthers our commitment to skilled workforce development so vital to Missouri’s future,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.


Apprentices are enrolled in four separate programs registered with U.S. Department of Labor.  The training center offers tutoring and mentoring and has a 91 percent graduation rate. Over the last five years, 30 percent of participants have been minorities.  Through its participation in career fairs and its Electrical Connection partnership (www.electricalconnection.org), IBEW/NECA is committed to a broad outreach to recruit apprentices while also energizing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education in schools which is critical to producing the highly skilled electrical and communications workforce upon which Missouri depends.