19 men graduate from ABC apprenticeship program

August 16, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE |
  • Luke Dubois, center, of Hagerstown was named the Electrical Apprentice of the Year Thursday night during the ABC Apprenticeship Graduation ceremony held at the Hagerstown Hotel & Convention Center. Jonny Barr, left, V.P. of Ellsworth Electric, Inc. and Greg Brown, right, of Waynesboro Construction and Chairman of ABC.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

Luke Dubois wrapped up a four-year trade school apprenticeship on Thursday night that might be the key to opening new doors in his career in the electrical field.

“It’s taken quite awhile, but it’s worth it,” the 25-year-old Hagerstown native said.

Dubois was one of 19 men who received graduation certificates from the Apprenticeship and Craft Training program administered by the Cumberland Valley Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. and the Barr Construction Institute.

The graduates were joined by family and friends for the school’s annual banquet dinner at the Hagerstown Hotel & Convention Center.

“It’s quite an accomplishment to finish the apprenticeship program,” said Dubois, who is employed by Tissa Enterprises Inc., a commercial electrical company in Frederick, Md. “I’m well on my way to becoming a journeyman. I just have a couple hours left to get under my belt.”

The four-year program includes classroom learning as well as on-the-job training to help prepare students for various occupations that require trade skills, such as electrical, carpentry, plumbing, and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, said Greg Brown, chairman of the ABC’s Cumberland Valley Chapter.

“It’s always a big event because all these students have put in four years of school and training to get to this point, along with a lot of hands-on work in the field,” he said.

Although he’s been employed by TEI, Dubois said the classroom work helps prepare students to become journeymen of a trade, which is one step away from becoming a master in the field.

“Going into the classroom, you get a really great general overview, a broad exposure to the different aspects of the trade,” Dubois said. “And it’s really excellent because when you come into a new situation out in the field, you’re familiar with it.”

Dubois said he plans to continue working for TEI, and is very appreciative to his company for helping him complete his schooling.

Classes for the program take place at ABC’s facilities on Locust Street in Hagerstown, Brown said, and with so many kids graduating from high school today hoping to go to college and get into technology jobs, it’s opened the door for a new wave of students who can earn a great living by working with their hands.

The school currently has more than 100 students working toward earning their certificates, he said.

“Not everybody’s cut out to go to college,” Brown said. “These people have great futures ahead. They’re going to be journeymen now, working in these different trades, and a lot of these people go on to be managers in businesses and even business owners some day.”

Dubois earned top honors in the field of 10 electrical graduates as Electrical Apprentice of the Year. Five earned certificates in the HVAC field, and four more graduated from the plumbing program.

Four students also were honored for perfect attendance while in the program, including Christopher Marro of Altimate Electric, who didn’t miss an assignment for two years. Frank Casey, Zachary Brown of B&E Services and Tim Dolbow of RW Warner Inc. all had perfect one-year attendance.

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary,” Brown said. “This is the starting point. They were all apprentices for four years, and now they’re moving up the ladder to the next level of expertise and they’ll continue to learn there and maybe expand on that someday.”

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