Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), Alfred State College, Syracuse University (SU), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 43, and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), have joined forces to build an education pathway for IBEW Local 43 members, detailing plans in a joint announcement made April 8 at Engler Electric in Utica.
MVCC President Randall J. VanWagoner, Ph.D.; Alfred State College President Steven Mauro, Ph.D.; Dean of the College of Professional Studies from Syracuse University Michael J. Frasciello, Ph.D.; IBEW Local 43 Business Manager/Financial Secretary Alan Marzullo; and NECA President James Engler were in attendance and are excited to be a part of this venture.
Historically, upon completion of the NECA/IBEW Local 43’s five-year earn-and-learn training program, apprentices have become a recognized journeyworker but have not had any portable college credits. Through this partnership, in addition to earning a journeyworker card, apprentices also receive an MVCC associate degree in occupational science degree at no cost—a SUNY-recognized credential allowing for streamlined, just-in-time, future educational experiences.
“Our coalition of diverse partners has constructed a first-of-its-kind, non-redundant, coherent pathway for highly skilled electrical workers to advance along the project management career ladder that fundamentally relies on a noncredit-to-credit pathway breaking the traditional mold of higher education and acting as an exemplar model, ripe to replicate,” VanWagoner said.
While apprentices are completing their training program, they also have the opportunity to earn SU’s online Project Management certificate at a discounted rate.
Upon completion of the apprenticeship program, individuals will have earned up to 79 credits which can seamlessly transfer into Alfred State College’s bachelor of business administration degree.
“Alfred State College is proud to partner with IBEW, MVCC, and Syracuse University to strengthen our long history of working with unions to create non-traditional pathways for career advances in the skilled trades,” said Mauro. “As advances in technology continue, skilled tradespeople will require greater competencies. It is partnerships like this that will provide advanced training for our electrical technicians who wish to gain a workforce advantage and become managers and leaders in their trade. We look forward to continuing our tradition of providing local and regional industry with workforce-ready graduates.”
Also, by leveraging preexisting agreements that Alfred State has with MBA programs around the state, including one with Syracuse University, the pathway for the IBEW apprentices extends through an online professional degree.
Frasciello said, “Our partnership with MVCC, Alfred State, and the IBEW is the first of many collaborations that provide talented students with the opportunity to advance their careers while shaping the future of the electrical trades and the industries they serve. This partnership focuses three of the region’s leading academic institutions on developing the next generation of future-ready electrical trades professionals.”
Apprentices who follow this pathway can look forward to lucrative and stable careers in the business of electric work and project management and have flexibility to quickly upskill and pivot as career options present themselves.
IBEW’s Marzullo said, “This complex but highly synergistic partnership will enable IBEW Local 43 to further enhance the welfare of our members while maintaining perfect alignment to our steadfast commitment of providing the highest quality of skilled electricians to our contractors,” said Marzullo. “We have long provided college-level learning to our apprentices, and we are thrilled that our college partners have identified a mechanism to recognize this. There is now great congruity between organized labor training and higher education, and it is for the betterment of all.”
About Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC)
Mohawk Valley Community College, established in 1946, is New York State’s first community college with a mission to provide accessible, high-quality educational opportunities for everyone. As the community’s college, MVCC is committed to student success through partnerships, transfer and career pathways, and personal enrichment. With campuses in Utica and Rome, MVCC is the region’s primary provider of college education, offering 90 degree and certificate options for its enrollment of 6,000 full- and part-time students. MVCC also serves an additional 6,000 people through its corporate and community education programs, and its campuses welcome more than 50,000 people annually for community events. For more information, visit mvcc.edu.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private institution that was founded in 1870. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 14,479 (fall 2020), its setting is city, and the campus size is 721 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Syracuse University’s ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #59. For more information, visit https://www.syracuse.edu/.
About Alfred State College
Alfred State College is a public college in Alfred, New York. It is part of the State University of New York system. The college, formerly the Technical College at Alfred, offers a wide variety of majors in both four-year bachelor’s degrees or two-year associate degrees. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a member of the Rochester Area Colleges consortium. Visit https://www.alfredstate.edu/ for more information.
About the IBEW
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represent over 800,000 workers throughout the United States and Canada in all phases of the electrical industry. Local 43 represents nearly 1,200+ hard-working men and women in these six counties of New York: Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and parts of Cayuga, Chenango, Otsego, Tompkins, and Wayne counties. Visit https://www.ibew43.org/ for more information.
About NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association)
NECA is the voice of the $171 billion electrical construction industry representing over 4,500 electrical contracting businesses in the U.S. and internationally. The Finger Lakes Chapter NECA represents Central NY contractors who employ IBEW Local 43 electricians and funds the IBEW
educational training program creating a skilled workforce. Visit https://www.flneca.org for more information.
MVCC President Randall J. VanWagoner, Ph.D. makes remarks during a joint announcement about a new educational pathway for Local 43 electrical apprentices April 8, at Engler Electric in Utica. (Seated, from left to right: Alfred State College President Steven Mauro, Ph.D., and Dean of the College of Professional Studies from Syracuse University Michael J. Frasciello, Ph.D.)