IEC MT Class of 2021

The Independent Electrical Contractors’ Class of 2021 Enter Job Market with Job Security

Generation Unemployed and She-Cession vs. Guaranteed Jobs and No College Debt

BOZEMAN MT, May 6 – On May 14, the IEC Montana Chapter will honor the electrical apprentices who have completed their required four-year apprenticeship training program. The ceremony will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman. Janet Martin, IEC National 2021 president, will deliver the keynote commencement address. Martin is one of the first women in the U.S. to head a male-dominated construction industry trade association. The graduation ceremony starts at 11:30 am.

May is National Electrical Safety Month and no one knows the importance of safety better than the Independent Electrical Contractors’ (IEC) apprentice graduating class of 2021. Across the U.S. hundreds of IEC apprentices will graduate in May through early July. All graduates have a job, zero post-secondary education debt, and rigorous training in safety on-the-job.

The job market is starting to roar back, but for anxious college seniors it’s a different reality altogether. It is well known that many are struggling to find jobs and are carrying mountains of college debt. “The electrical contracting industry, deemed essential throughout the pandemic, represents a stable, sustainable opportunity for all job seekers,” says Martin. “In fact, our industry sector has a critical shortage of workers, pushing wages higher in the skilled trades and making these jobs even more attractive.”

The electrical contracting sector represents a stable, sustainable opportunity for all job seekers: graduating high school students, military vets, women, minorities, and people seeking to make a career change. In Montana, independent (merit shop) contractors train 72 percent of the State’s electrical apprentices.

IEC offers careers in electrical contracting that are more than just working at a jobsite. “Electrical contracting and renewable energy offer job security,” says Martin. “This is not a boring or mundane field. Recent technology evolutions combined with the push for climate friendly renewable energy and the increased electrification of buildings and transportation make the start of the new decade one of the most exciting times ever to be an electrical contractor.”

Smart Buildings and homes, drones, artificial intelligence, 5G, 3D Building Information Modeling, image recognition, prefabrication and advanced levels of workplace safety technology are rapidly evolving. “This new, evolving technology is the sexy part of the business and one that IEC trains its students to understand and use,” Martin continued

The problem for college students is that youth unemployment remains stubbornly high. Though much better than the 27.4% rate in April last year, the unemployment rate for those ages 16-24 ticked higher, to 11.1% in March. That was significantly above the overall unemployment rate of 6%. *

Job seekers can get a head start on considering this opportunity at What is key to know about electrical apprentice training in Montana is that 72 percent of them are trained by independent (merit shop) contractors.

Conventional wisdom says we cannot function in a world without electricity. “This translates into career security and living wages well into the future,” emphasizes Martin. “There is no question that electricians power this new world. We power people’s lives. We power our quality of life. And electricians power the forces and infrastructure of strength, vitality, safety, and security for us all.

* Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2021