The Lehigh Valley’s electrician’s union, IBEW Local 375, is the recipient of nearly $300,000 in funding to bolster its apprenticeship program.
The funds will be used for the local’s Joint Apprenticeship and Training Fund in Allentown and will provide 30 apprentices with training.
“I’m proud to announce these apprenticeship grant awards, which are crucial for Pennsylvania’s future,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf. “Investing in apprenticeship programs like this one ensures there is a strong pipeline of new talent for the construction industry for many years to come.”
With the funding provided by Pennsylvania’s Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, IBEW Local 357 will increase the number of apprentices through their program by nearly 15% per year for the next three years.
The program curriculum will focus on telecommunications wiring and fiber optics to improve broadband access to rural and underserved areas of Pennsylvania as well as solar power; programmatic logic controls; power quality and power grid updates; safe job practices; and the National Electrical Code.
Once apprentices have completed the program, the focus will be on placement with the more than 300 employers in the Lehigh Valley who have signed on with the program as partners.
“We are very grateful to DCED for this apprenticeship grant that will help grow our existing program and expand apprenticeship opportunities in the Lehigh Valley,” said Robert Franklin, training and safety director for IBEW Local 357. “With the ever-changing workforce and the retirement of the baby boomer generation, now is the perfect time to use these funds for outreach, registering, and training the next generation of apprentices.”
The Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant program works to increase apprenticeship availability to Pennsylvania employers to assist them with their talent recruitment and development. Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Program funding is provided to eligible applicants for the purpose of reaching the goal of increasing apprenticeship accessibility across the state.
Eligible uses of funds include expenses related to instruction that complements on-the-job learning.