A first in Texas effort is underway in the Houston area to offer a new electrician apprenticeship program for high school students in the Spring Branch Independent School District. TRIO Electric, a company involved with the Construction Career Collaborative, is partnering with the school district to make it happen.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
"There was a gap between the millenial and the baby boomer; there was no experience or their hands were too old," said Shane Murphy, a superintendent and school manager at TRIO Electric, the private company in East Spring Branch who approached the district about expanding their existing apprenticeship program to high schoolers due to a lack of qualified workers in the field.
The program will allow students to be on track to sit for a journeyman's electrician exam with the state of Texas only two years after high school, while simultaneously earning well above minimum wage with their level-one certificate earned at the end of the high school course. First-year journeymen earn a median income of $52,000 annually, compared to the national average median income of $37,000 across all industries according to a 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey from the United States Department of Labor.
The paper also says:
(The program) with classroom lessons at Guthrie, then; over the summer, TRIO offers paid internships for students at $13 per hour, but more importantly, keeps the clock ticking toward the 2,000 hours of hands-on training to be completed by graduation.
TRIO is a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation-approved Apprenticeship site and has been providing the program to high school graduates for four years in their "boot camp"-style classes.
However, they hope training high schoolers will help them create a workforce for the entire state. They predict being able to hire all 50 students who complete the inaugural class, and after that they'll help with job placement at other companies who face the same labor shortage.
Here’s the full article from the Houston Chronicle.