Established in February, 1967; the Crater Lake Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Trust is the educational department of the IBEW/NECA apprenticeship committee in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Over the past 43 years, the classes have been held at the Labor Temple, local high schools, the Job Council and for a very long time in one of the Camp White City buildings. In 2004 the Training Center moved to its current location at 4864 Airway Drive in Central Point.
The Board of Trustees decided it was time to buy a building and modernize the entire operation. The 50 foot by 100 foot building on Airway was re-apportioned to create 4 classrooms, 2 offices, a lab area and a large room on the second floor for assemblies. Each classroom is equipped with audio and video systems that include projectors for training. An ethernet internet connection is available in every classroom and wireless is available throughout the building.
In February of 2009 , the Crater Lake Electrical Board of Trustees decided to expand the size of the Training Center. Construction began on July 1st and the new 4800 square foot addition was completed on September 18th. The main purpose of the new space is to increase the area available for hands on labs for the apprentices and Craft Certification units for journeymen.
Over the last few years, we have attempted to introduce hands on training into the apprenticeship curriculum, with limited success. The main problem has always been the lack of space, equipment and materials. If the first year class wanted to bend conduit, the fourth year class could not work on motor control projects. The new building allows us to have one bay dedicated to conduit bending and a large area dedicated to motor controls. In addition to these areas, we will also have permanent booths set up for training in residential, fire alarm and telecommunications. This will allow the apprentices to move from classroom studies to practical application. It will also allow the apprentices to receive the practical training it has become difficult to provide on jobsites.
The NJATC has developed a testing program called Craft Certification that allows a Training Center to put a journeyman through a series of written and hands on tests that verify their overall knowledge of the trade. Journeymen are put through a four hour hands on lab where they are required to complete a project involving transformers, panels, motor controls and lighting. Journeymen who successfully complete the examination will receive a card verifying their certification and this certification will be placed in their permanent record. Contractors will be able to use this certification as a selling point with clients who want to know that their employees are qualified. The Crater Lake Electrical Training Center plans on building three Craft Certification booths in the new building expansion.
Apprentices will also be using the Craft Certification booths, completing tasks developed for each level of their apprenticeship training. First year apprentices will be required to complete a series of conduit bends and wire pulls. Second year apprentices will run conduit, pull wire and hook up a series of circuits. At the third year level, an apprentice will be required to wire both the primary and secondary connections to a transformer, as well as a panelboard. Fourth year will complete a motor control project and the fifth year will be required to complete a fire alarm system. At the completion of the five year program, apprentices who have successfully completed all aspects of the hands on tasks will also be classified as Craft Certified.
The expansion of the Training Center is only the first step in this process, the next step will be building all of the training units and acquiring all of the necessary materials. The overall success of this project, however, will be decided by the contractors and journeymen who understand its value and not only participate, but encourage others to get on board. For this reason, I would encourage anyone who has any questions to please contact my office. I am more than willing to come out to your shop and explain the program in detail with both contractors and journeymen.