The Chesapeake Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors Association (IEC Chesapeake) will launch the first year of a new Spanish-Assisted Electrical Apprenticeship Program on Jan. 10, 2015. The full 4-year program will be taught by seasoned bilingual electrician and instructor Alvin Pardo-Monell, the founder/principal of APM Vocational Institute. This is the first new program in IEC Chesapeake’s initiative to increase the number of resources offered to Spanish-speaking men and women in the electrical industry.
“As the number of electrical apprentices in Maryland increases each year, so does the number of apprentices who are non-native English speakers,” explains IEC Chesapeake associate director of education, Donte Lee. “It is our responsibility as an educational institution to make sure every electrical professional has access to the tools needed to be successful in our industry.”
While the program is intended to provide assistance to Spanish-speakers, it will require students to have a strong foundation in English as their second language. “Typically, Spanish-speaking students who are accepted in the apprenticeship program already have a strong understanding of English,” explains executive director Grant Shmelzer, “but there is often a disconnect when it comes to translating the more technical concepts. By partnering with Alvin Pardo-Monell, who understands the difficulty these young apprentices are going through, we hope that we will be able to bridge the language divide.”
Pardo-Monell has worked in the electrical field for more than 20 years. He taught in the electrical engineering department of Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico where he graduated with a BSEE in electric power engineering in 1989. He is also an OSHA Authorized Outreach Construction Trainer.
IEC Chesapeake is currently accepting applications for the January Spanish-Assisted Electrical Apprenticeship Program. For more information on how to apply, please visit http://www.iecchesapeake.com/howtoapply.