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The Harford County Electrical Contractors Apprenticeship graduation took place on Friday, May 11, at the Chesapeake Theater at Harford Community College. In attendance was J. Ryker Hughes, Professor of Business at the College, who was acting Master of Ceremonies. Also addressing the graduates was Dennis Felts, Executive Director, HCECA; Ronald Blaney, Training Director, HCECA; and Dr. Steven Thomas, Vice President of Academic Affairs at the College. Mr. Christopher MacLarion was the guest speaker and spoke to the graduating class of 58 new apprentices. He commended the students and their families for their commitment to the program and their perseverance in the past four years. He acknowledged the difficulty of working all day and attending class two nights a week, but remarked that being awarded a journeyperson’s license was an accomplishment that they earned and no one can take away.

The Apprenticeship school, which is housed at Harford Community College’s Edgewood Hall, graduates approximately 50 to 70 students each year. Since 1982, 1,692 apprentices have graduated from this program. They anticipate another 100 new enrollments for the fall of 2018.

The Harford County Electrical Contractors Association (HCECA) was formed as an official group in 1941. In 1978, the organization was restructured and over the next few years it became one of the largest electrical apprenticeship programs in the state of Maryland. The Contractors Association organized their members, worked with local and state agencies, hired educational consultants, and formed a long-term academic partnership with Harford Community College, thus ensuring the stability and growth of the trade. With this partnership all graduates, upon completion of their apprenticeship with HCECA, will receive 20 college credits which can be used at Harford Community College toward a degree or are transferrable to another college or university.

The Apprenticeship program includes four years of classroom instruction, in accordance with state and federal regulations.  The classes begin in September and continue through April each year, which meets the required 144 hours of classroom instruction.  Students are thoroughly trained in residential wiring (1st year), commercial wiring (2nd year), industrial wiring (3rd year), and blueprint reading & code (4th year).  In addition, apprentices must acquire 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.  Upon completion, each student is issued a state of Maryland certificate of completion, identifying the student as a qualified journeyperson electrician.

For more information on the Harford County Electrical Contractors Apprenticeship Program, please contact Ronn Blaney, HCECA Electrical Apprenticeship Training Director at rblaney@harford.edu, or visit Harford.edu. The original deadline to apply of May 31 has been extended; students must apply by June 15 to be considered for the fall classes beginning at the end of August 2018.

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