06/10/2014 9:37 AM -
Just under a year ago, a group of electrical professionals in Northwest Indiana saw a need for a simplification and rebranding of their union. That’s when Certified Electrician was born. A combination of NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) and IBEW Local 697 (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), Certified Electrician was formed to show the partnership between the two groups and to decrease confusion amongst the public. NECA is a labor management group consisting of local area electrical contractors and IBEW 697 represent a group of unionized electricians. However, the letters and acronyms made it difficult for the public to understand exactly what each group represented and the services they had to offer Northwest Indiana.
“I think it’s been going over really well,” Director of Business Development Casondra Ayling said. “We are doing radio ads now, various sponsorships and we’re always giving back to the community through charity events. We’re really just saturating the market right now to get people familiar with Certified Electrician.”
When a customer calls upon a Certified Electrician contractor, they will receive the services of an electrician who is highly trained, well-educated and trustworthy. All electricians have been drug tested, background checked and gone through a rigorous apprenticeship program, which includes classroom and on-the-job training.
“We’re always recruiting skilled electricians, many do not realize the benefits and training our union has to offer,” Ayling said. “When we bring these people into our classes, it’s amazing that some say, ‘I’ve been through college, I’ve got my degree and I’ve been an electrician for 5 years, but I’ve never seen this before.’ That’s just the level of training we offer.”
Certified Electrician’s apprenticeship program accepts applications the second Wednesday of every month. Gaining admittance to the program is no simple task because of the high level of math and education that it takes to be successful as an electrician.
“A lot of it is on the actual job sites, so they get exposed to a little bit of everything and kind of figure out what interests them and what their niche is,” Ayling said. “When they come out of the program, they have earned their Associate’s degree as well. We’re not your typical college, but you are still earning your degree and on top of it being tuition-free schooling, you’re getting paid while working on the job.”
For Ayling, the marketing position that opened up six months ago at Certified Electrician was the perfect opportunity. “Now, it’s kind of developed into something a little bit bigger than what we originally thought, but it’s a new position, so there’s really no limit to what it can be.”
Certified Electrician played a significant role in the construction of Oil City Stadium. Their contractors and electricians helped wire the ballpark that the Oilmen call home, making the partnership between Certified Electrician and the Northwest Indiana Oilmen even more appropriate.
“We are trying to take the unionized electrical industry to the next level, by providing superior training, and making sure construction jobs go union versus non-union,” Ayling said. “We want to keep Northwest Indiana thriving. That happens when local electricians are hired for these local construction jobs, because the worker turns around and spends their hard earned money within the community they live. It’s kind of all one big circle and I think it’s a great thing to keep money and jobs in our area.”