By: Cindy DeWire, Director of Apprenticeship, ABC Keystone

Fall is a great time of the year! Not only does the fall bring crisp, cool weather, but the season also begins a new school year. ABC Keystone is excited that another year of apprenticeship classes has begun, and this year, we are educating 350 apprentices. The addition of four full-time apprenticeship instructors allows us to continue to enhance the quality of training for our apprentices and for their companies.

September-October Update:

At the beginning of the year, the Trainee Handbook and apprenticeship requirements are reviewed with each class. Apprentices were reminded of the DOL requirements of classroom hours as well as provided information regarding submitting monthly OJT hours. New this year was discussion on awareness of suicide in construction. Students were provided a list of potential signs and resources for themselves and/or others with whom they may work. We promote PPE in construction, and our apprentices’ mental health is another form of PPE for all.

Highlights from Carpentry & Electrical Classes:

  • Carpentry 1: Discussing building materials, fasteners and adhesives.
  • Carpentry 2: Working on blueprints and drawings; using the iPads and Procore to answer questions while reviewing the prints for the ABC building addition.
  • Carpentry 3: Working on properties and reinforcing of concrete; reviewing math concepts for determining volumes and putting that into cubic yards to order concrete.
  • Carpentry 4: Working on site layout and differential leveling, including the math site layout, angular and distance measurement; using the auto level and the builders level to read elevations and make temporary benchmarks in the yard at the ABC building. This class started with the manhole and worked toward the building to see if they could get close to the difference in elevations that was shown on the drawings. The best out of two classes was within 3/16” of the elevations depicted on the prints.
  • Electrical 1: Reviewing OSHA electrical safety on ladders and stairways, including common electrical safety concerns and proper use of ladders.
  • Electrical 2: Discussing lockout/tagout and understanding the NEC Vol. 1 – articles 200, 210 and 215, including use and identification of grounded conductors and branch circuits.
  • Electrical 3: Understanding the NEC volume 1 – articles 400, 402 and 404 – flexible cords/cables, switches, receptacles, switchboards, and panelboards.
  • Electrical 4: Discussing leadership topics such as personal branding, developing basic leadership skills, taking responsibility, and staying on top of your game. Electrical 4 also started practicing their prep for the journeyman exam covering electrical circuits and understanding alternating current.

We’d like to remind you that companies with apprentices in the ABC program are encouraged and welcomed to send representatives to attend classes. Also, we encourage you to have monthly (or at least quarterly) reviews with your apprentices. Discuss what they are learning and how they are applying that knowledge to the job. If you ever have any questions, concerns or feedback, please reach out to us!

Posted November 19, 2021