Stephen earned an Associate’s degree (AAS) in Electrical Construction Technology through St Cloud Technical and Community College with assistance from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Near the end of the AAS program, he applied for employment and landed an interview with Erickson Electric.
“I informed Erickson that TAA would pay half of my wages for a period of time to train me,” said Stephen, describing how the TAA On-the-Job Training (OJT) program works for employers. “Erickson Electric, a union company with the IBEW, accepted me in under the labor agreement as a pre-apprentice.”
Stephen started at Erickson in May 2022, making $19.41 an hour. He received a raise in July when a new labor contract was negotiated. This brought him up to $20.84 an hour. But the wage increases didn’t stop there.
“I received a significant raise in August when Erickson Electric thought well enough of me to sponsor me into the JATC program,” Stephen explained. “By doing so I received a raise to $25.00 an hour and full benefits, and became a sworn brother of the IBEW, and title of Apprentice.
Stephen plans on staying with Erickson Electric for the foreseeable future. He wants to thank Trade Adjustment Assistance staff and his Dislocated Worker counselor for all the help along the way on his promising career path.