PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Five Calvert County Public School seniors who recently graduated from high school also graduated as Pre-Apprenticeship Electrical Helpers from the College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) Regional Hughesville Campus Center for Trades and Energy Training June 14. The students’ accomplishments were a result of their hard work and a partnership between CSM, Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) and the Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake (IEC).
CSM and IEC collaborated last year to pilot a 200-hour electrical trade job readiness program that would connect skilled students for in-demand and high-paying electrical trade careers. In 2021, 12 Charles County high school seniors finished the program, entered the work force and were given the opportunity to begin their full apprenticeships.
Finishing their CSM Pre-Apprentice Electrical Helper 1 and 2 certifications were CCPS Career and Technology Academy graduates Nicholas A. Carentz; Jordan B. Harless, Jason C. Harrington, Steven E. Jackson, and Kyle Wilcox. The five started the program in February 2021 and were given classroom instruction and hands-on training in a program that will serve as an on-ramp to their careers.
The graduates completed the course with industry-certified credentials and will receive support from IEC Chesapeake to secure employment over the summer. Once employed, students are then eligible to begin year one of the registered electrical apprenticeship program in the fall at CSM or another IEC Chesapeake location. Upon completion, they will automatically receive their electrician’s license.
“I have already had several job offers,” confirmed Jordan Harless, of Lusby.
“I have to say of the many facilities we have at the College of Southern Maryland, this Center for Trades and Energy Training is my favorite one,” shared CSM Associate Vice President Ellen Flowers-Fields when congratulating the students and their families. “It’s because I am the daughter of a shop steward. I grew up with a man who worked with his hands. He saw the value of understanding how things were built and with the quality in which they were built.
“I also grew up in inner-city New York and he would spend a lot of time when I was small driving us around and pointing to different architectures and pointing to buildings that he had actually put his hands on,” Flowers-Fields continued. “He is deceased now, but when I go to New York I can still those buildings that he put his hands on. By continuing in this trade, you now will have the ability to see your work, all around the world. He used to lament when steel and glass structures came along and modernized buildings – and brick and masonry were no longer the fad. He would lament that it wasn’t a real craft. Well, I can tell you that whether it’s a brick building, a clay building, a glass building or whatever kind of building it is, electricity will be part of that building. Electricity is under our feet all the time. It’s everywhere.”
An apprenticeship is the first step in a lucrative career in the trades, and the competition for apprenticeships can be fierce, but the demand for electricians is high. ZipRecruiter currently lists 259 electrician apprentice jobs in Maryland with starting salaries ranging from $31,000-$50,000.
CSM provides top quality career and technical education that helps students begin new careers with workforce training certificates that provide entry-level skills for high-demand industries.
Learn more and how you can begin your career in the trades by visiting online at https://www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/non-credit/workforce-training/construction-and-skilled-trades/index.html.