Learning New Tricks

Whether you are just beginning your career in the electrical contracting industry or have a few years under your belt, IEC offers the opportunity for learning at every level of expertise.

IEC’s four-year Apprenticeship Program is a world-class program designed to combine on-the-job training with expert classroom instruction. I have seen firsthand the top-notch students that IEC produces. But IEC is not just for apprentices. It also offers continuing education for contractors at all levels.

There are several opportunities to learn new things, whether through the IEC webinar series or the new Electrical and Systems Training Series (ESTS). The ESTS is made up of various courses for experienced electricians. Several courses are already available with more coming throughout 2014. The webinars are held monthly, are free for IEC members, and are as close as your computer. Recent topics included changes to the National Electrical Code and how the Affordable Care Act affects your business. The next webinar is March 19 on Code Violations. Visit www.ieci.org to register.

With the development of the ESTS courses, the revamped Professional Electricians Program (PEP) will consist of nine of the 15 proposed ESTS courses. This is one of the programs in which I am most excited. PEP will provide an alternative path for those who have electrical experience to gain the classroom knowledge without having to complete the four-year Electrical Apprenticeship Program. There are so many high-quality electricians who need the classroom work to combine with their on-the-job skills to make them truly great professionals.

IEC continues to add value to the IEC Training Advantage program. With Legrand having joined as the inaugural Partner in Learning, IEC and its partners will bring the best in innovative products, technology, and expertise to the world- class IEC training program. The Learning Management System continues to expand with online grading, test question banks, and instructor support to enhance the IEC training. IEC instructors are completing training to make them even better.

Soon, IEC chapters and training programs will be able to be certified as excellent centers of learning through the IEC Credentialing Program. This program will also give Journeymen electricians the opportunity to have IEC credentials certifying their education.

All of this training, continuing education, and instructor support creates the best contractors in the industry. I firmly believe that the IEC apprentice program is the best and all the other training helps keep us the best at what we do. I encourage all IEC members to view the video on the Training Advantage page of the IEC National website which further details all of the breakthroughs in the IEC Training Advantage.

As we continue to make strides to bring you the best in electrical training, stay updated by visiting the IEC National website and reading the IEC e-mails. I am proud of the progress we have made over the past two years but even more excited for what we will accomplish in the near future.

Gordon Stewart is IEC’s 2014 National President. As the principal elected officer of the association, Stewart serves as chair to the Board of Directors, House of Delegates, and Executive Committee. He has been in the electrical industry for 35 years and is currently the General Manager at Joe Swartz Electric in Houston, Texas.