Hello Rayan, Harold and Earl
Happy Holiday and I hope you are all ready for the New Year!!!
This is a subject that I feel very very strongly about. Education in our industry for open shops and continuing education for journeymen is pretty much a very minor event in NY.
I have a small training center in lower NY, of which I draw students from NJ, Conn. and NYC. They all have one thing in common. There are too few if any places for electrical education that is relatively close to home - travel becomes a large part of why they receive little to no education.
I will also say that paying for the classes is not as much of an issue as I originally thought, time is the big issue. These guys will plunk down the cash, but find it very difficult to come to a class that has more than two running weeks.
Once they are in the classes, they are usually very happy they have come and they will repeat with other classes.
The real problem I can see is the lack of understanding WHY they do what they do. Most of the guys are very good at the installation, but you ask them why and the 'deer in the headlights' look prevails through the class.
In our area there are no requirements for education (other than apprentices in the Union), these men/women can be in the industry for 30 years and never open a book.WOW!!!
Most people in our industry came to work right out of highshool, they do not read as well as they could. They pick up the code book and do not understand it too well, so they stop reading it.
One of the biggest problems that brings all of this to a skidding halt is what happens at inspections. From one area to another, they do not know what to expect from each inspector, so instead of learning the code, they learn about the different ways the different inspectors inspect.
Adding all of this together and it is a mess.
But... I believe with an overall effort it can be worked out.
I now have a class that has been running every week for eight weeks - with five of the local inspectors. The class was supposed to be for five weeks, but now will run until the last week of june(requested by all of the inspectors), not one of them is paid for the class time,and we are doing this from 5pm to 9pm. These inspectors are all doing their homework and are learning a lot. They were a little embarassed at first, but now we are on a run and it is actually a lot of fun. The four hour classes fly by and I surprise test them every once and awhile. Their grades have dramatically improved and there is one very important issue that is slowly being resolved.... they are all starting to get on the same page and it shows in the field inspections. You should hear some of our discussions
I have one long term goal - helping to make our industry as great as it possibly can be, education is the answer.
BTW- I am the only place they can get classes in a 75 mile radius, other than the union hall and Boces. UNBELIEVEABLE!!!