IEC Chesapeake Partners with State of Maryland to Expand Pre-Apprenticeship Program

IEC Chesapeake is partnering with Maryland’s innovative Pathway to Success Apprenticeship Program which aims to prepare Maryland youth for employment in registered apprenticeships. The program has been in place for three years in January and has had over 50 students enter the program. Currently Howard County High School seniors have transitioned from a Pre-Apprenticeship Program into a school to apprenticeship program (STA). Students are working a minimum of 16 hours a week and being compensated as they complete Year 1 of the apprenticeship program which is being paid for by the company sponsors. On January 21, 2020 the program will be expanded into Anne Arundel county.  

IEC Chesapeake is conducting a 200-hour electrical trade pre-apprenticeship program for 23 high school seniors. It includes a combination of hands-on training and classroom instruction. Each student that successfully completes the program and meets minimum criteria set by IEC Chesapeake will secure employment as an electrician helper and have a chance to participate in Maryland’s registered apprenticeship program. In the fall of 2020, a new group of Anne Arundel High School seniors will enter a school to apprenticeship program just as the Howard County students. Through this pre-apprenticeship program, Maryland youth from both counties will be given an opportunity to begin a career in the electrical trade.  

Pathways to Success is a program that combines classroom instruction and hands-on skills training. “As the skilled trades continue to experience workforce shortages, it is imperative that Maryland’s workforce system proactively responds to this trend by expanding the availability of our apprenticeship programs. The Pathways to Success initiative allows business, school systems, and governments to collaborate and offer students a valuable experience that puts them on a career pathway and sets them up for success.” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary, Tiffany P. Robinson. Pathway to Success is a collaboration between Maryland Department of Labor, Maryland Public Schools, and IEC Chesapeake.  

When we asked IEC Chesapeake’s Executive Director, Grant Shmelzer, how he saw the Pathway to Success program impacting the electrical industry, he had the following to say.  

The program was put into place to supplement existing high school electrical programs (CTE or Votech) as the number of graduates completing the existing programs is not meeting the demands of the industry. This solution provides the opportunity for the school systems to work with business community to meet the growing labor needs of the industry and providing opportunities to high school seniors who did not take the electrical classes currently offered at the high school level. In most cases this is due to full classes. 


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