IBEW, Local 103 values the importance of education. Every member of Local 103 completes a five-year apprenticeship training program that includes 1,000 hours of classroom learning combined with job simulations and on-the-job training. Throughout their apprenticeships, members are held to performance and workmanship standards that prepare them well for a valuable career in the electrical or telecommunications field. It’s no secret how IBEW, Local 103 electricians and technicians have gained the reputation as the best-trained workers in the industry.
Now, through a pioneering partnership with Wentworth Institute of Technology, IBEW, Local 103 members can enhance their apprenticeship training by earning any one of a number of college degrees, all without losing valuable time on the job. Through this innovative program, over one hundred Local 103 members have already earned higher education degrees in the construction fields; 56 members have completed an AS Degree in engineering technology, 46 members have completed a BS Degree in project management, 7 members have completed a BS Degree in engineering technology, and 2 members have completed a MS Degree in construction management. Beyond these degrees, there is also a pathway to a master’s degree for those enrolled in the Local 103 – Wentworth program.
The disproportionate cost of earning a college degree in 2016 is crippling working-class families across the United States. In Boston, the impact is even more severe. While Massachusetts serves as a national hub of higher education, Bostonians currently incur a 44% higher student debt than the national average. Half of all 25- to 34-year-olds in Boston have at least one open student loan. While saddled with this student debt that often reaches over $100,000, college graduates’ entry-level salaries average just $35,000 per year.
Through IBEW, Local 103’s innovative training programs, new members receive five years of industry training that secures a lifelong career in a financially and personally rewarding field, all while working during the day to maintain a steady income. For those who take advantage of Local 103’s higher education program, they are also able to add a college degree at a fraction of the cost while working and earning a steady income.
The Local 103 – Wentworth program produces a classic win–win result. Local 103 continues to further the education and training of its members, which allows them to compete as the most-skilled and best-trained workers in the industry. Additionally, Local 103 members can boost their already substantial technical education with an affordable and beneficial college degree.
This exceptional program is just the latest example of how IBEW, Local 103 is leading the way in innovation and why they continue to offer the most skilled and highly trained workers in the electrical and telecommunications industry.