Explains Michael Callanan, executive director of NJATC
, "Many in our industry had clearly expressed the need for regional training, for bringing continued education closer to our members.
With the complexity of electrical construction continuing to grow, the NJATC is working with various educational institutions to encourage college credit for completed NJATC course work, as well as the recognition and transfer of these credits toward two-and four-year degrees.
Approximately 120 NJATC training centers have agreements with local community colleges linking apprenticeship courses to an associate's degree, usually in construction technology or construction management.
All NJATC apprenticeships are registered with the American Council on Education (ACE), which reviews and recommends awarding college semester credit hours for the completion of rigorous apprenticeship courses.
The NJATC spends more than $100 million to train approximately 48,000 electrical apprentices in the United States annually.
The NJATC offers four different apprenticeship programs in the electrical industry, including outside lineman, inside wireman, installer/technician, and residential wireman.
The NJATC has recently begun a campaign to promote this career path to more students and those, such as high school guidance counselors and teachers, who may advise them on career issues.
The NJATC program is organized by geographical areas, with participating IBEW local unions and NECA chapters now funding more than 300 local programs.
The NJATC program has also formed many alliances with colleges and universities to help electrical workers obtain academic degrees.
In 1999, NECA and IBEW invested an estimated $80 million in NJATC programs to train more than 40,000 apprentices as well as 50,000 journeymen who returned for specialized instruction to further improve or update their skills.