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Electrical workers can turn experience into an Electrical Construction Technology degree at CCAC

Greg Smith PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), located in Pittsburgh, Pa., in partnership with the electrical training ALLIANCE, is offering an online program for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)-National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) apprentices and journeymen to earn an Associate of Science in Electrical Construction Technology. 

This national program enables individuals enrolled in a local Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) apprenticeship program or those who have graduated from a local JATC program anywhere in the nation to receive up to 40 college credits toward an associate of science (AS) degree upon successful completion of the JATC program. The remaining 21–24 required credits (seven courses) are general education courses, and only 15 of those credits (five courses) must be completed through CCAC. Current apprentices in an IBEW-NECA apprenticeship program may begin taking CCAC general elective classes before completing the apprenticeship. All journeyman and apprentices will receive in-state tuition of $236 per credit-hour with no fees. Special pricing is also available for reservists, veterans and their dependents. In addition, participants may earn credits for prior college, work, or military experience—credits that can count toward an associate degree now and transfer to four-year schools later. 

Greg Smith is a lead master technician in transmission and substation testing at PECO – An Exelon Company, in Philadelphia. Following his five-year apprenticeship with the IBEW-NECA and 14 years’ experience in the field, he heard about the Electrical Construction Technology program and realized it was just what he needed to finish his education and advance in his career. Smith was awarded 40 credits for work experience as a Journeyman Electrician, and his other existing college credits were accepted toward a degree. Almost immediately upon earning his associate degree, he was promoted to a management role at the company. Whereas in his last job, he had to travel, now he is home every night, which is much better for his family.

“I really enjoy the position I have now. Having my degree gives me more options to live the lifestyle I want to live,” said Smith, who has recommended the program to several of his coworkers. “This is a great program—it’s affordable, and it opens up choices for workers in the industry. It would be amazing if more colleges like CCAC worked with the trades. I’m a big fan of tradespeople getting that credential for an associate degree—I think it’s awesome.” 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals make more money over their lifetime by earning a college degree. In fact, individuals in the construction industry with degrees enjoy wider career opportunities, improved job security, higher job satisfaction, and better benefits.

Space is limited. For more information on how to advance your career with an Electrical Construction Technology degree from CCAC, contact Don Breitbarth at 412.237.4574 or