The Puget Sound Electrical JATC (PSEJATC) in Washington State, in cooperation with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 46, recently began a new training program for US military veterans returning from active duty.
The “Veterans in Construction Electrical” (VICE) program is a 14-week intensive training program for selected veterans with an aptitude for the electrical industry. PSEJATC is proud to assist transitioning veterans to help them enter into an exciting career within the electrical industry.
PSEJATC is a non-profit organization that provides the training required to receive certifications in Inside Wireman (Construction) Electrician, Low Voltage/Sound and Communication Electrician, and Residential Electrician. The training center is jointly sponsored by the Puget Sound Chapter of the NECA and IBEW Local 46.
NECA is the voice of the $100 billion industry responsible for bringing lighting, power, and communications to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office and 120 local chapters advance the electrical contracting industry through advocacy, education, research, and standards development.
The IBEW represents approximately 750,000 members who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government. The IBEW is among the largest unions in the country and has members in many skilled occupations.
The PSEJATC believes that training is an essential component in the success and employability for members of the IBEW and NECA. Helmets to Hardhats is a valuable tool for these organizations, that are continuously looking for qualified workers to enter their trade. Washington is one of several states that offers daily support and outreach to Helmets to Hardhats in the form of a state-funded H2H liaison to assist veterans and transitioning soldiers into state-approved apprenticeship construction programs. Todd Mitchell, a US Marine Corps Veteran who served in the Gulf War, has worked as the H2H Liaison in Washington since October 2008.
In addition to the VICE Program and the H2H Liaison position, Washington has instituted other initiatives designed to help Veterans, such as the Veterans Conservation Corps, a program that assists veterans by providing training and volunteer opportunities that help restore and protect the state’s natural resources. This program gives veterans valuable job skills in the growing environmental field, while contributing to the community at the same time. For more information on the VICE for Vets program, visit their website at www.viceforvets.org; or contact Todd Mitchell at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs at toddm AT va.wa.gov.