Howard Community College Introduces Electrical Apprenticeship; Program offered in partnership with Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake

Howard Community College introduced a brand-new electrical apprenticeship program in partnership with Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the electrical industry is on track for continued growth, and this new program is providing a pathway for students to enter an in-demand field. During the four-year program, apprentices study at Howard Community College in Columbia and Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake in Laurel while working full time with a participating employer.

“Apprenticeships provide a tremendous opportunity for students to learn and earn a salary at the same time,” said Minah Woo, associate vice president of continuing education and workforce development at Howard Community College. “The electrical apprenticeship program adds a new career option for students, while also growing the list of apprenticeships offered through the college.”

Apprentices in the program will earn advanced standing in pursuing an electronics technology associate in applied science or electrical engineering associate in applied engineering degrees. In addition, students receive credentials as a journeyworker electrician upon completion of the program.

Howard Community College’s partner, Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake, will offer classes in Laurel. The electrical and renewable energy contractor association comprises more than 150 contractors and industry partners and represents over 10,000 professionals in the electrical industry.

“Electricians enjoy high wages and job security, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the electrical industry will grow by 15% through 2024,” said Grant Shmelzer, executive director of the association. “We’re pleased to partner with Howard Community College and expand our apprenticeship footprint in the region.”

In addition, Howard Community College established a transition pathway for Howard County Public School System students. High school seniors who have completed the first year of instruction and on-the-job training through Apprenticeship Maryland’s graduation pathway can finish their apprenticeship at Howard Community College after graduating high school.

“This new opportunity gives our students the opportunity to combine our high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) Apprenticeship Maryland Career Academy with Howard Community College courses so that students may begin their career and work towards their associate degree while still in high school,” said Sharon Kramer, Career and Technical Education coordinator with Howard County Public School System.

In addition to the electrical apprenticeship, Howard Community College partners with local businesses to offer apprenticeships in the fields of software development; biomedical engineering technology; construction management; heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration; and information technology.

Howard Community College will accept applications for the electrical apprenticeship through Dec. 4, 2020. Information sessions will be held for prospective students on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 6 to 7 p.m. Learn more about these sessions and the application process at


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