PARSIPPANY –The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local 102) and Union County College have teamed up to develop a program to provide apprentice electricians with access to a College degree while they are learning the electrical trade.
The newly signed articulation agreement between the IBEW and the College enables apprentices to earn an associate of applied science degree in Technical Studies. Apprentice electricians enrolled in the IBEW’s five-year apprenticeship program will be able to transfer technical-studies credits and technical-elective credits to Union. To complete the associate degree, the apprentices will need to complete College general-education courses, including English and Mathematics.
The new associate-degree program will begin in Fall 2013. An expected 60 electrician apprentices will participate in the first cohort.
IBEW Local 102 President Bernie Corrigan sees this partnership with the College as a boon for his membership. “This articulation agreement adds value to our apprentices’ training and truly rounds out their education. Together with highly specialized training as electricians, they will have a solid grounding in a college education from one of the finest community colleges in the State.”
The IBEW Local 102 has a newly constructed, state-of-the-art training Electrical Trades Training Center in its Parsippany headquarters. President Corrigan and Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin signed the articulation agreement on Dec. 3 at the IBEW’s Training Center.
Joining the Union and the College for the signing was NJ State Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. The Lieutenant Governor toured the IBEW’s facilities and praised this partnership between the union and the college.
The College initially contacted the IBEW in late 2010, after the College was awarded federal funding for the “Green Workforce Curriculum Development Program.” President McMenamin explains, “What began as outreach to the IBEW by the College’s customized-business training division has blossomed to a credit-bearing degree program enabling IBEW apprentices the opportunity to develop and expand a career pathway.”
President McMenamin credits the staffs of the IBEW and the College for collaborating over the course of several months to bring the program to fruition. She says, “The College faculty, led by Dr. Maris Lown and Professor Nick Gilbert, together with IBEW President Bernie Corrigan and Business Manager Pat Delle Cava, spent countless hours working to develop a program that ensures both technical and academic rigor and will support the ‘Choose New Jersey’ economic development initiatives.”
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