ElectriCom Inc. is a seasoned utility infrastructure construction company focused on the build-out and support of utilities in rural markets. Their Midwest Telecom Operations group employs approximately 200 people who do the hands-on work of running fiber through trenches and deploying overhead. ElectriCom ventured into the apprenticeship development process because they have a strong appreciation for the training and development needs of their employees, with an existing Regional Training Facility in Jefferson, Indiana, which supports ongoing employee training for ElectriCom’s telecom and power division.
ElectriCom recognized the need to build a training and apprenticeship program tailored to the needs of the broadband infrastructure industry. They faced the dual challenge of being new to Registered Apprenticeship and having an education partner that was new as well.
TIRAP was able to facilitate the transition to a Registered Apprenticeship model and provide incentive funds to help offset the cost of curriculum development for ElectriCom’s training center. Beyond the tools and resources provided, TIRAP was able to provide constant support and open dialogue with its subject matter experts and project managers. This collaboration was instrumental in overcoming ElectriCom’s challenges in developing a Registered Apprenticeship Program and training curriculum.
With their educational partner Somerset Community College in Somerset, Kentucky, ElectriCom worked with TIRAP to successfully established programs for Fiber Optic Technicians, Overhead Utility Installer Technicians, and Underground Utility Installer Technicians.
ElectriCom recently celebrated the graduation of their first cohort of students, marking a significant milestone. Nine apprentices have completed their programs to date and another 68 are active apprentices.
Moreover, this partnership allowed Somerset Community College to offer various education options, including a fast-track certification model, providing even more opportunities for students.
“I have always had a passion for education and employee development, and although I am not new to construction, I am new to the infrastructure industry. As ElectriCom set forth to pursue an apprenticeship program, TIRAP has been the conduit to make that happen. Without their guidance, support, and partnership, I am confident that we would not be where we are today. Although TIRAP offers many ‘tools’ for organizations like ours, the biggest benefit has been the support and two-way dialogue with their subject matter experts and Project Managers. I believe that every organization faces different challenges when developing an apprenticeship model and training curriculum, and our resources at WIA and TIRAP have worked together with us to overcome these challenges.” – Shane Matthews, Training and Development Director at ElectriCom LLC
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