Jobs in skilled labor are on the rise, and as demand increases, students are more interested than ever in an occupation that will propel them towards their goals and provide excellent benefits.
The Kentucky Lake Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly breakfast on Thursday, May 11 and invited Jarrod Shadowen, Paducah Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Director, and Nathan Ruggles, Iron Workers Training Director, to discuss their programs and the benefits associated with an occupation in skilled labor.
Shadowen travels across the 14 western-most counties in Kentucky to visit schools and inform students of the specifications of their five-year training program in electrical work, while Ruggles travels across a slightly wider scope, visiting Southern illinois, Southeastern Missouri, Northwest Tennessee and Western Kentucky to discuss with students their four-year program in iron-working. Both programs will teach their apprentices everything they need to know related to the daily inner workings of both professions and provide excellent opportunities for students to create a sustainable career with excellent benefits.
In order to be accepted into the Paducah Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Program, students must pass an aptitude test and pass through the interviewing process. Apprentices will go to school one night a week and are committed to working on weekdays. The average age of apprentices is 24, but their oldest apprentices at the moment is 52. Shadowen and Ruggles stress that both of these programs are open to those looking for a new career path at any age, any gender and with any level of experience, just as long as they are committed to putting in the work and have a high school degree.
Iron workers do work constructing metal buildings and bridges; maintaining infrastructure by putting in reinforced steel and rebar for bridges, piers and foundations; and completing ornamental work on windows, door frames, door closures and glass. A four year program, apprentices will work under seven different contracts and accumulate at least 6,000 hours on the job to ensure their readiness for the workforce. Both programs offer benefits that include competitive pay, a pension and health, optometric and dental insurance. Apprentices are paid a percentage of what a licensed journeyman would make, based on experience.
With no indication that work will be slowing anytime soon for those within the journeyman’s field, there is a bright future for those going into careers specializing in skilled labor.
To learn more about the Paducah Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Program, contact Shadowen at Jarrod.Shadowen@padjatc.com or to learn more about the Iron Workers Training Program contact Ruggles at 270-442-2722.
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