The Construction Electrician program at Anoka Technical College secured a 100 percent placement rate in 2017, with every student from the program obtaining an apprenticeship in the skilled trade.
The program has a history of placing its students at quality commercial and residential electric companies, as well as with the Local 292. The skills taught in the program are in such high demand that there is often a waiting list to get in the program.
“The Construction Electrician program is successful because of our dedicated faculty,” said Vice President Elaina Bleifield. “The faculty work closely with students to ensure they have the essential skills to be ready to enter the workforce.”
Students in the program begin their studies by mastering the basics and learning electrical theory. Training in large labs on campus that are built to mimic the wooden structure inside a house or a business, students get hands-on experience.
They begin with residential electrician training, then advance to commercial training. Students practice electrical wiring, using motors and controls, and reading blueprints and plans, while learning about regulations and safety measures on the job. Along the way, students also study algebra and trigonometry, and hone their communications skills.
“The main goal is when they graduate from the program, they are competent, and they have the skills they need to hit the ground running,” said Instructor Brian Schelkoph. “We have an excellent college rigor within our program that allows our students to meet or exceed our expectations.”
Graduates of the program are placed in apprenticeships with companies and organizations in the region. After earning the two-year diploma and meeting requirements, they can shave one year off the length of their apprenticeship and increase their chances of higher earnings when they enter the field.
Recently, eight students earned positions with City View Electric, a company that has a long-standing relationship with Anoka Tech. Mike Nelson, who serves as vice president, is a 1981 graduate of Anoka Tech, and he consistently hires Anoka Tech graduates.
“The students have been good workers,” said Nelson. “These young adults have a good work ethic, strong mechanical aptitude, and some of them bring a history of working in skilled trades from their family.”
Because of his interest in the Construction Electrician program, Nelson joined the program’s advisory board this year. His role has given him more insight into how hard Anoka Technical College works to provide in-demand skills to students considering technical trades.
“Anoka Tech is very dedicated to graduating students with the skills they need to get ahead,” said Nelson.
For more information about the Construction Electrician program at Anoka Technical College, visit AnokaTech.edu/ProgramsCourses/EngManufTech/ConstructionElectrician.aspx
Photo: Students in the Construction Electrician program work in one of the labs located on the Anoka Technical College campus.