IEC conference

IEC Battles Labor Shortage and Skilled Worker Stigma

Fleming explained through trends and studies that the current job market is oversaturated with college graduates and that there is a growing need for individuals with technical skills gained through apprenticeships and 2-year degrees.

More than 1,300 electrical and systems contractors and suppliers converged on San Antonio, Tx., for IEC Con 2016, Oct.26-29. IEC Con 2016 featured 25 standing room only education sessions, within four unique tracks, presented by industry experts; an interactive Expo featuring over 80 vendors; and networking opportunities.

“IEC Con 2016 Conduit to Profit” began with this year’s Keynote General Session, “(Re)Defining the Goal,” presented by Dr. Kevin Fleming, CEO of Telos Educational Services. The session deconstructed the college-for-all philosophy and explored the misalignment between education and our current workforce. Fleming explained through trends and studies that the current job market is oversaturated with college graduates and that there is a growing need for individuals with technical skills gained through apprenticeships and 2-year degrees. This message spoke to IEC and its membership, due to IEC’s steadfast belief in the apprenticeship model and our assertive actions to promote it.

Emphasizing IEC’s commitment to apprenticeship, IEC Con 2016 closed out with the announcement of the IEC National Apprentice of the Year Competition winners at the President's Reception & Awards Gala. The 3-day competition placed the top graduates from 26 IEC chapter apprentice training programs across the country in a head-to-head competition to discover the top electrical and systems contracting apprentice in the U.S. In an extremely close competition, IEC Rocky Mountain apprentice Scott Sorensen of Eckstine Electric edged out the rest and was recognized as the IEC National Apprentice of the Year.

 

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