The IEC Training Advantage

Imagine a world where you need simple electrical work done to your home or business, but the wait for an available electrician is at least three to four months. Unfortunately, this scenario could come to fruition in the upcoming years as the skilled labor shortage continues to become more prominent.

InsightsPic_TRNADV.gifThe good news is construction spending seems to be picking up and is projected to grow by six percent in 2013.  However, the bad news is that many contractors still report labor shortages as the number one issue facing the industry. In fact, it is estimated that a two-million-worker gap between construction labor demand and supply in parts of the U.S. could be the industry's next crisis as the workforce continues to shrink amid a strengthening economy. In a nutshell, the industry is in crucial need of skilled men and women to perform construction work. IEC and its 60 Chapters are prepared to rise up and meet this daunting challenge, and will do so by utilizing the IEC Training Advantage™.

Having a solid amount of training from a reputable program such as IEC’s can set you apart from other, untrained, electricians in the field. IEC has one of the best training programs in the industry that is multifaceted and goes far beyond just opening a book.

“The IEC Training Advantage embraces the philosophy that ‘why’ something is done is just as important as ‘how’ something is done,” explains IEC National Executive Vice President/CEO Thayer Long. “Teaching and espousing critical thinking makes extremely strong, well-rounded professionals in any field, and ultimately will create a more efficient and productive workforce, and better electricians.” This philosophy of “why” is what separates an IEC education from competing electrical apprenticeship programs.

The IEC Training Advantage platform was also designed to focus on three major elements that set IEC apart from any other in the industry:

  1. Not only does IEC have an exemplary curriculum, but it focuses exclusively on electricians and systems contractors and works in conjunction with a strong, standardized testing process.

  2. The four-year Apprentice Training Program is just one step. IEC and its chapters offer countless continuing education classes to members to keep them fully updated and trained in an ever changing industry. IEC also offers a training module for instructors, so they can do their job more efficiently.

  3. Training is more than a lesson plan or a curriculum.  It includes state-of-the-art facilities, a strong network of mentors, and a bevy of other resources.

At the helm of the IEC Training Advantage is the four-year IEC Apprentice Training Program. Perhaps the major factor that sets this apprenticeship apart is the U.S. Department of Labor approved IEC Apprentice Curriculum. Utilized by IEC Chapters, the curriculum is designed for adult learners and is written and managed by a team of experts in the technical, code, and educational fields.

“The IEC curriculum is more in-depth and covers a wide range of topics for IEC students,” explains IEC Rocky Mountain Training Director Jeff Macht. “It provides a well-rounded education. Not only does IEC give the student the book knowledge, but we teach them how to take that knowledge and apply it in a lab setting.” The ability for students to apply their knowledge from the book to real life situations is what gives IEC students that extra edge. Apprentices must spend 144 hours of classroom training, which combines lectures and hands-on labs. Not to mention that students are also employed by IEC member companies and must complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.

IEC of Southern New Mexico Executive Director Phyllis Franzoy agrees with the importance of IEC’s applied learning structure. “I can speak directly to the importance of the IEC Training Program benefits in contrast to non-IEC students,” relates Franzoy. “When we partnered with our local community college on the electrical