|NJATC Partnership Enhances Training|
When a budding journeyman wireman takes his or her first step onto the job site, theory quickly becomes practice. That's why many trusted companies have partnered with the NJATC over the years to offer the next generation of electrical workers the best in tools and training to help move them from classrooms to careers.
Now, Memphis-based Thomas & Betts is stepping up its commitment to IBEW members by installing state-of-the art educational product display boards at major training hubs across the U.S.
Representatives of the company — which makes thousands of products for electrical connection, distribution and transmission — met with NJATC leaders, representatives from the National Electrical Contractors Association and IBEW members at Washington, D.C., Local 26's training center in central Maryland in September to unveil the first of such boards. The installments will aid students in correctly identifying and using common equipment like residential and commercial ground clamps, crimp connections that can be hooked up to motors or panel boards, conduit bodies for use as junction boxes and more.
"There are so many different manufacturers and so many different components to choose from, so having something that displays a lot of different items will allow apprentices to learn some of the materials early in their careers before seeing them in the field," said Local 26 Assistant Training Director Ralph Neidert.
The rollout of the boards is the latest step in Thomas & Betts' three-year partnership with the NJATC to enhance training efforts for electrical workers at all levels of their careers.
"[The] product display board is just an example of the pledge Thomas & Betts has made to support the NJATC, NECA and the IBEW," said Charles Treadway, president and CEO of Thomas & Betts Corp.
NJATC Executive Director Michael Callanan said such partnerships are essential to improving skills in a changing industry.
"When students can see a parallel between what they have in their curriculum and what they see on that board — when they can touch and feel items, that's when you learn the most," Callanan said. "There's a certain level of things you can do in books, but it's so much better if you can put it in students' hands."
Additional display boards have been or will be installed at NJATC centers in Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; Commerce, Calif.; Dorchester, Mass.; Norcross, Ga.; Pittsburgh; and New York City, among others.
Thomas & Betts Corp. also recently announced a two-year commitment to NECA's Premier Partner program, helping NECA members run their companies as efficiently and profitably as possible. Thomas & Betts' commitment is for 2013 to 2014.