President Obama Visits Maryland-based IBEW / NECA Training Facility

Posted by John Ladd - On February 26, 2010 (EST)

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, President Obama visited and toured the NECA / IBEW Local 26 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee facility, located in Lanham MD., and spoke about the importance of skilled labor in helping the U.S. transition to cleaner energy sources.  Joined by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, the President remarked how sites like the one in Lanham highlight the potential of the clean energy sector in helping the U.S. become less dependent on foreign oil.  The JATC facility is a joint-run effort of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), training electrical and telecommunication workers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

“This is an extraordinarily impressive facility, where workers are instructed on everything from the installation of sophisticated energy hardware and software to the basics of current and resistance.  We need to look no further than the workers and apprentices who are standing behind me to see the future that's possible when it comes to clean energy,” said Obama.  “It's a future in which skilled laborers are helping us lead in burgeoning industries.  It's a future in which renewable electricity is fueling plug-in hybrid cars and energy-efficient homes and businesses.  It's a future in which we're exporting homegrown energy technology instead of importing foreign oil.  And it's a future in which our economy is powered not by what we borrow and spend but what we invent and what we build.”

The President also talked about the large federal investment his administration had made in clean energy, one that he said is expected to create over 700,000 jobs nationally.  Registered Apprenticeship has already been identified as a key component in support of that investment in several areas (i.e. recently announced Energy Training Partnerships grants will provide nearly $100 million to design and distribute training approaches that lead to portable industry credentials and employment, including career opportunities in Registered Apprenticeship programs) and we are excited to join our Labor and Employer partners to train our country’s next generation of workers, prepared to lead the U.S. efforts to grow the clean energy sector.

I encourage you to read the full transcript of the President’s remarks and to go back and read about the role Registered Apprenticeship is expected to play in carrying out the goals of the Energy Training Partnerships grants Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a few weeks ago. 

John V. Ladd
National Office of Apprenticeship

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Modified On : February 26, 2010
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