Federal agency recognizes PEC’s apprenticeship program as ‘standard of excellence’

Apprentices receive world-class training through the program

On Thursday, Aug. 24, a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) representative visited with the PEC Organizational Development team to perform a quality assurance assessment of our journeyworker apprenticeship program. This was the agency’s second visit since the program began in February 2013, and we are pleased to share an above satisfactory report.

Three pec men outside
PEC Journeyworkers Keith Baty (left) and Justin Rainwater (right) are the first to complete the cooperative’s apprenticeship program starting from the apprentice 1A position. PEC Technical Training Manager James Vasquez (center) led them through the apprenticeship, which they graduated from in July.

“We were so excited to receive such positive feedback,” PEC Director of Organizational Development Amanda Hoefling said. “It’s really important for us to maintain a program that has a very high standard. Plus, it’s a great pat on the back from the federal agency and reinforcement to continue [the program’s] success.”

PEC’s apprenticeship program is a U.S. DOL journeyworker certification program in which apprentices receive world-class training, work with skilled mentors and gain valuable hands-on experience. The apprenticeship is an 8,000-hour program that takes about four to five years to complete. Ultimately, the experience gained through the program is the equivalent to a college degree, Hoefling added.

The U.S. DOL representative reviewed several different aspects of the program, which included a review of our administration and how we manage on-the-job education for our apprentices, plus verification of our record keeping and much more. Because their representative felt so strongly about the success of our program, the U.S. DOL representative is nominating Hoefling to represent electric cooperatives in Texas for a special committee of U.S. DOL-certified industries.

“Overall, we want to be the Ivy League of apprenticeship programs,” Hoefling said. “This program is well-structured and competitive, which is why when our apprentices become journeyworkers through this program, it means something.”

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