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20 graduate from Barr Construction Institute

August 13, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Things might be tough in the economy, but it's been good for Wade Joy.

Joy said he wanted to be an electrician because it's a job that always requires thought and could never be replaced by a machine.

The Emmitsburg, Md., man landed a full-time job with Architect of the Capitol, which performs electrical contracting work for U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate office buildings in Washington, D.C.

As part of the employment deal, Architect of the Capitol paid for Joy's electrical contracting training at the Barr Construction Institute at 530 N. Locust St. in Hagerstown.

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Joy was among 20 graduates from the institute who were honored during an apprenticeship graduation banquet Thursday night at the Hagerstown Hotel & Convention Center. The graduates completed four years of schooling while working.

Joy said he is preparing to take an exam to obtain his electrician's license, and the Barr Construction Institute training is considered in the licensing process.

Joy looked back on his training and the help from Architect of the Capitol with appreciation.

"I was pretty fortunate," Joy said.

The Barr Construction Institute is operated by the Cumberland Valley chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. Associated Builders and Contractors has been offering vocational training since 1964 and decided to open a new training facility a couple of years ago on North Locust Street, said Joan Warner, president of the institute.

Students attend classes at the North Locust Street building two nights a week for three hours each night, Warner said.

The 20 graduates were honored following a dinner and were invited to pick out tools from a table at the front of the room as a part of their recognition.

The guest speaker was William W. Saxman, an apprenticeship and training specialist with the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Saxman talked about sports figures who have overcome odds to succeed. He also said it has not been a typical year with talk of bailouts and stimulus packages. In the tough environment, graduates will have to "redouble efforts" to succeed, Saxman said.

"Now is not the time to give up on your current training and your company," Saxman told about 65 people in attendance.

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