Upon high school graduation, teens have to figure out what to do next. The traditional four-year college/university route is not for everyone. Once students graduate from a four-year institution, they not only walk away with a college degree, but likely a huge amount of student loan debt. According to Business Insider, student loan debt is at an all-time high. There are other options teens should consider, such as a trade industry, after high school graduation.
Youthentity, based out of Colorado, addresses this issue by helping kids find their unique talents while gaining the self-confidence, knowledge, and skills necessary for a successful future. Youthentity recently launched the Academy’s Structural Design & Building Industry track for high school students to explore the many jobs and careers within the building industry. Youthentity partnered with IEC Western Colorado to give the youth of Colorado’s high schools more exposure to the electrical career path.
IEC Western Colorado is using the newly released IEC New Worker program to educate high school juniors and seniors in the Youthentity program. These young people come to class at IEC Western Colorado every Tuesday from 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm. The instructors all volunteer their time and are licensed journeymen. The youth learn what a career as an electrician is all about and discover an alternative to attending a traditional four-year college/university. As an electrical apprentice they receive 8,000 hours of on the job training as well as 288 hours of classroom training all the while earning wages throughout the four years.
Neva Hiscock, Executive Director of IEC Western Colorado, shares a story of IEC teamwork. “One night the students were given a lab assignment to do some pipe bending by grabbing the wire in one hand and using the tool in the other.” She noticed a determined look on one student’s face. The student was having difficulty in completing the task but, collectively, the group engineered the best way for the student to accomplish this task with one hand and by himself.
In May, the students in the Youthentity program will graduate with a pre-apprenticeship certificate alongside the apprentices from IEC Western Colorado. Way to go IEC Western Colorado for showing the youth a bright path in the electrical industry!
Luisa Reyes is the Chapter Development Manager for IEC National.