PDT Staff Writer
Students at the Scioto County Career Technical Center (SciotoTech) can select from a variety of career-based programs, like health care, auto body, masonry, criminal justice and more. This year, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 575 has taken one student from the electrical program at CareerTech and offered him a full scholarship and apprenticeship with its union.
David Maple, apprenticeship director of the IBEW Local 575, said they work with eight vocational schools in 10 counties across Ohio and Kentucky.
"Scioto County has been the best to work with getting their electrical students to apply for our apprenticeship program," Maple said.
He said the union has been able to work with the state of Ohio to create a scholarship apprenticeship that's given to one outstanding student. This year, that student is Todd Dunn of SciotoTech. Dunn will receive a five-year apprentice scholarship, valued at $170,000.
"Todd Dunn was highly recommended by several sources. We looked into his references and background, and talked to people who have worked with him, talked to people who had taught him, and he seemed to be the top choice," Maple said.
Dunn started his apprenticeship in June, and Maple said the contractors he works with love him. During the upcoming years, Dunn will work in southcentral Ohio, and widely across Scioto County, learning everything from basic electricity to very complex industrial systems.
"They finish up their apprenticeship after a five-year program, and they've got over 900 hours in school, 8,000 hours on the job, and they become a certified electrician in the state of Ohio. With a little effort, they can have a college degree, also, through that program," Maple said, calling Scioto County the best electrical program of their eight schools.
After completion, graduates are prepared to handle almost anything thrown at them.
"One of the guys that finished our program said he learned how to work on everything from a lightning bug to a lightning bolt," Maple joked.
The union has had similar programs in the past, but said applicants may have taken a long time to go through the red tape and be accepted. With Dunn, Maple said, he was directly placed into the program as the result of his stellar recommendations.
"It's the first time ever, to my knowledge, the IBEW has offered a scholarship to a student. We pay for everything for him," he said. "(Dunn) makes the school look good, and he makes me look good for making the final decision on his selection."