Maine Township High School District 207 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers-National Electrical Contractors Association (IBEW-NECA) Technical Institute have entered into a unique partnership to benefit students interested in a career as an electrician. The partnership is part of a larger effort in District 207 to provide students with career options and choices by matching interests with career opportunities.
Students at Maine East High School, Maine South High School and Maine West High School will be able to earn points toward IBEW’s apprenticeship application if they earn a letter grade of a ‘C’ or better in specific math, science and career technical education classes. IBEW receives approximately 700 applicants for 60-100 apprenticeship positions each year.
“This partnership provides District 207 students with a career path they can follow during high school that could lead to one of the select apprenticeship positions within the IBEW upon graduation from high school,” says Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Innovation Shawn Messmer.
The partnership will be highlighted with a Math/Science Educator Day on April 5 at the IBEW NECA Technical Institute, 6201 West 115th Street, Alsip, IL. The event will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. A group of teachers from all three schools will attend the educator day.
“This will be an opportunity for teachers to experience the training facility through hands-on activities, see how the apprenticeship program works and witness the continuing education of our electrical workers,” says Special Assistant to the Director at IBEW NECA Technical Institute Gene Kent. In addition, those attending will learn about the class structure, view the curriculum and make connections between what is being offered at the training institute and what is being offered within the school district.
“We are excited to partner with IBEW in order to offer our students a competitive edge into the electricians apprenticeship program,” says Maine East teacher Melissa Damewood who helped create the connection with IBEW.
District 207 is perhaps the only district in the country using three applications (YouScience, pathwayMANAGER and JobsEQ) in combination to better gauge student interests for future study and education paths in addition to ROI information for students and families to lower the cost of post-high school education. District 207 also is challenging the idea that the traditional four-year college is the path for all students. This IBEW connection is one of the many partnerships the district has created. In fact, to help students and families learn about careers, the district has expanded its business partners from 74 in 2014 to nearly 600 currently in order to provide authentic career experiences (internships, shadowing and mentoring).