Inside a modest building on Kings Run Drive on the west side, groups of young men and women prepare for a lifetime career as electricians. Some of these electrical apprentices are even younger-high school juniors and seniors from Great Oaks.
The Great Oaks students are part of the Youth Apprenticeship Program through the Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater Cincinnati (IEC). As they enter the Commercial/Residential Electricity program at one of the Great Oaks campuses, they can qualify to become apprentices for the IEC as long as they have good grades and regular attendance.
It’s a program that pays off for the student, said Greg Hyland of Cooper Electric.
The Youth Apprenticeship Program typically involves one to two evenings a week in an IEC classroom, along with Great Oaks studies. Hyland warns that being an electrical apprentice may not be easy. "It takes a studious individual to succeed. When they graduate from high school they can be third-year apprentices in a four-year program," Hyland said. "They're starting the race two laps ahead of everyone else." Students who complete the program can also earn up to 41 hours of college credit from Hocking College or Cincinnati State.
"We've had a strong partnership with the IEC for a long time," said Dave Spears of Great Oaks. "They help train our students and hire our graduates. They even become involved in advising us on curriculum and program issues."