LEJATC Training Update

March 18, 2020

Attention all Apprentices:


Hello all, I pray everyone is doing well.  Please make sure each of you are taking precautions to protect yourselves, following suggested protective guidelines, and particularly practicing hand washing.


The Louisville Electrical JATC is monitoring the daily changes in the COVID-19 progression, responding to suggested best practices, and evaluating the impact on each of you.  Considering no one knows how long this will last, we must act now to avoid as many future problems as possible. 


The LEJATC and your participation in a registered apprenticeship program are governed by various federal and state regulations.  Our decisions are not simply a Committee or Local Union 369 matter.  We are legally required to operate within these constraints.  In simple terms this means there are specific requirements concerning OJT and related training (Face to Face) hours that must be met for you to progress through the program and turn out.  As of this writing the state has not responded to correspondence, or issued any variances concerning the requirements.  Due to these facts, thou the building is closed, the training shall continue. 


To have the best chance of mitigating negative impact on your career, extra work and creativity are required from the Instructors and each of you.  We are finalizing methods to legitimately document the required related training hours.   This new direction will utilize current as well as new tools and applications to continue at home assignments and extend the classroom into your homes.  This will be different; however, it is the most effective course of action to insure minimal impact on your training, your advancement, your pay increases, and completion date. 


School days are still school days.  You will be required to be available on some, or all your normally scheduled school days.  You will be informed of the days you will be required to have computer/internet access and be available for online interactions.  There will also be virtual study halls coming for you to ask questions and get clarification on material.  Additional possibilities are still being finalized. 


We have lost a week of training that must be made up.  Our training calendar has a week without classes scheduled (the week of March 30th this year).  Though some refer to this week as “Spring Break”, it has always been intended and used as a contingency for missed school days.  Some of you may have educational requirements during the week of March 30th.  The Instructors will make every attempt to communicate requirements in time for you to plan accordingly. 


Just as the policy states, if you have completed all requirements, and if you miss work due to school, you will be eligible for an incentive to excel check.  All reports are still to be turned in as required.  You can Email any required documentation, time sheets, work reports etc. to Destynee.  Document everything as usual. 


Remember, it is up to you to check email AND text messaging.   If we send critical information and you have not updated your phone number and email…all problems that arise are on you.  


“Why is this happening?  Why do we have to do all this?  Why can’t we just get A’s for the rest of the year and pick back up in August?  Why don’t they just let us go to the next year, or turn us out?”  Well, GO BACK AND READ PARAGRAPH #3 ABOVE! 

I am fully aware some of you are fearful, confused, upset about what you have just read, don’t understand why this is happening, and some of you just like to complain.  I get it, Really, I Do!


The easy thing to do is cancel school, push everything back to August, and start over.  The easy thing is often not the best thing!   Many of you know if I am willing to make a bet with you…I have probably already WON!  Always set yourself up for the best probability of success!  You need to understand we are making decisions for YOUR career path to have the greatest odds of finishing unhindered and on time.    


I am not ignorant of the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus, or the impact it is having on millions of people. My wife has heart issues, my Dad is 79 with COPD, and I know people that have contracted the virus…it hits as close to home for me as anyone.  We are certainly in dark, uncertain times, but everything is a choice.  How we choose to move forward through any darkness is a choice.  We can sit idle in the darkness and see what happens, or we can make a choice to find the LIGHT, the GOOD that is in, or can come out of all situation.  I CHOOSE TO MAKE THE LIGHT!


All of us are standing at the beginning of the next shift in the world of Skilled Craft training…and it’s going to be Great!  You have become an integral part of a new paradigm that will benefit the industry and generations of electricians.  I’m serious!  Your feedback at the end of the year will help shape the future of Apprentice and Journeyperson training for years to come.  The end result of the ideas and tools we are beginning to implement will be less in class lecture time and more in depth hands on experience, less travel to the JATC sites and new study hall/Q&A options, “one-shot” lecture topics becoming digital media that a student can reference as often as they need.  Coming out of this the JATC will be even better equipped to adjust to severe weather conditions, catastrophic events, and other unforeseen circumstances.  I am very positive that the light I see, way out there, barely piercing the darkness, looks to be very, very bright.


Remember the Cheese?  Somebody moved it, and we have a solid plan to find it!!!