Local Electricians Ready for Solar Work

Published on September 18, 2009

LANHAM, MD— September 18, 2009— Electricians working in the Washington, DC area can now earn a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Certificate of Knowledge thanks to a renewable energy course offered by the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC). The Certificate signifies an electrician’s ability to work on photovoltaic systems at an entry level.
The JATC, the organization that oversees education and training of electrical and telecommunications apprentices in our area, is one of only a handful of NABCEP Certificate of Knowledge Test sites in metro Washington.
“We decided to become a test site because electricians are uniquely qualified to perform photovoltaic work, explains David McCord, director of the JATC. “The actual renewable energy training is obviously critically important, but we also want our journeyman electricians to earn industry standard certification so that their training is recognized by the contractors who hire them as well as their customers.”
According to NABCEP, any accredited university, college, community college, vocational-technical institute, or Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee can offer the Certificate of Knowledge program. Courses are required to have an interactive teacher-learner structure and must provide students with the necessary information covering the NABCEP-issued learning objectives.
The JATC’s Renewable Energy Theory and Application course educates journeyman electricians on renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic systems; solar thermal; residential and commercial energy efficiency; electrical vehicle charging stations; wind; geothermal; hydro; and cogeneration. Upon completion of the 42-hour course, students are eligible to take the NABCEP Certificate of Knowledge test.
“Having the certificate of knowledge lets general contractors know that we are qualified and have dedicated training to ensure that Electrical Alliance contractors are adequately prepared,” says Tom Myers, JATC renewable energy course instructor.
The JATC is jointly funded by the Local No. 26 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Washington, D.C. Chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). In addition to continuing education, it offers three and five-year apprenticeships. Program details can be found at www.washdcjatc.org.