Apprenticeship helps fight electrician shortage

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WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) -Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers confirmed there is a shortage of electrical workers, but they hope their program can be a solution.

“The main thing that we see as far as the shortage is the applicant pool getting smaller. We struggle more with getting applicants in our doors to apply for trades in general,” said Boone

Manager of the Wichita Falls Chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Justin Boone says a large part of the Electrician shortage is technology and a lack of exposure to manual labor jobs.

“Simply because in my opinion it boils down to electronics back in the day, we used to work on our cars. Vehicles today you can’t work on them cause they are electronic” Boone said.

IBEW supplies electricians for everything, from turning lights on to powering up buildings. IBEW offers a free apprenticeship program that pays. It even offers medical benefits for people interested in the field. It is a 5-year program that prepares those wanting to get into the trade for their Journeymen test, to get their license. A common theme among the apprentice working at Midwestern State University new Health and Science building said electronics is a family affair.

“My grandfather worked for Honeywell for 30 years and my father worked as an electrician back in fourth. It’s a field that I always wanted to get into. You will always need electricians.”

Timothy Henderson Jr. whose father is also an electrician is in his 5th year and will test for his license in the next couple of weeks.

“Seeing your finish project is the most rewarding. Henderson adds. "Preparing the journeymen, the benefits, work friends, brothers, it is all pretty much one big family.”

There are a lot of projects going on in Wichita Falls right now, one at MSU, the new jail is going up just to name a few.

IBEW officials said they’re gearing up for the next big projects right now, they’re reaching out and putting ads on social media.

They’re also working with WFISD’s Career Education Center to get more students interested.

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