Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

IBEW Union Local 81 proud of their new training center


JUNE 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

IBEW Union Local 81 proud of their new training center


REGION, May 16th- Richard Schraeder, Chairman of the Scranton Electricians Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, the group that oversees the training and upgrading of union members affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 81, Wyoming Avenue in Scranton, is proud of the training center that opened in 2014.

The building is located on a three-acre site along Skyline Drive in Clarks Summit just next to Acker Drill Company, a unionized company.

Mr. Schraeder recently gave this reporter a tour of the facility that contains five classrooms, computer rooms, instruction area’s, meeting space, a multi-purpose room, a loading dock, and a snack area. The building has 16,000 square feet and replaced the space Local 81 used for training in their downtown Scranton building on Wyoming Avenue. Local 81 stills owns and maintains that building which houses their main office and meeting hall. The IBEW has tenants in the building which includes several other labor organizations in the area.

The training facility was envisioned by former and current members of the Scranton Electricians Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee to train and educate their apprentices and journeyman in a modern environment with all the resources available to them to become the best, most productive, and safest electricians in the industry and to produce quality, on-time, and on budget projects for customers, Mr. Schraeder told the newspaper.

The Committee is made-up of three IBEW Local 81 members and three members of signatory contractors with the Union for a total of six. There are currently approximately 30 signatory contractors of Local 81.

The IBEW apprentice training program is for five years and includes two days a week of classroom studies. Also, the apprentice members must conduct 2,000 hours per-year of working on the job in the industry for the five years before they can earn journeyman status.

“The program is tough. But after graduation the contractors and customers know he or she have been trained properly and are ready to be a qualified electrician,” said Mr. Schraeder.

Mr. Schraeder is also the Business Manager and Principal Officer of Local 81, which has more than 500 members. He joined Local 81 in 1969 and has held several officer positions with the Union before becoming Business Manager. He is currently serving his first full term in that position.

The Committee makes all decisions regarding the training center with four of the six votes needed before the implementation of any change can take place.

In 2014 the first class of apprentices graduated from the new center with fourteen becoming journeyman electricians. This year seven are expected to complete the training and become journeyman with the graduation taking place in November.

“Our members should be proud of their building and the commitment that has been made to them,” added Mr. Schraeder.

Mr. Schraeder wanted everyone to know the cost of the center is shared between Local 81 and the signatory contractors and it cost the public nothing.