Industry support for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as the future of the electrical industry was the focus of a recent breakfast co-sponsored by the Electrical Connection in St. Charles County, Mo., a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
The 10th annual STEM Celebration Breakfast presented by EDC Business & Community Partners in St. Charles County on Mar. 1 recognized 22 St. Charles County high school students who excel in STEM subjects.
“Smart infrastructure, including smart cities, smart buildings and smart homes define ever more complex electrical and communications installations that our IBEW/NECA partners excel in delivering,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “By embedding technology in our real estate assets, builders, facility managers and governments gain greater understanding of how those assets are performing. This in turn creates better decision making in how we design, operate and maintain them. We salute these STEM achievers because STEM education is absolutely critical to our industry investment in workforce development to advance smart technology and more.”
IBEW and NECA invest more than $3 million annually in training at the award winning IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center in St. Louis. For more than 75 years, the training center has produced more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any other education program in Missouri. It features a five-year, 10,000-hour education program that is industry-funded at no taxpayer expense. Its apprentices are instructed free of charge and have opportunities to earn a living while they learn the electrical trade.
“A strong foundation in STEM education is essential to complete our robust curriculum that will ultimately prepare our skilled and safe workforce to engineer and install not only smart infrastructure, but advanced manufacturing, data centers, integrated communications, renewable energy and more,” said Dennis Gralike, director of the training center.
During the salute to students, Curran announced that through the Electrical Connection’s partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals, students and school officials will be treated to a special behind the scenes look at how STEM education is applied to running the storied baseball franchise. The students will be invited to Busch Stadium to hear from team officials in several departments about how they apply STEM subjects.