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‘Considering A Career Transition’ Or ‘Graduating College Without A Clue As To What’s Next?’ ‘It’s Never Too Late To Start Building A Career’ In The Electrical Field

Published Sunday, November 7, 2021
by IBEW Local 26 News
‘Considering A Career Transition’ Or ‘Graduating College Without A Clue As To What’s Next?’ ‘It’s Never Too Late To Start Building A Career’ In The Electrical Field

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Chris Cash and Bill Murphy know from experience, how one small change can influence the course of your life.

Serving as Director and Assistant Director of Apprenticeship - respectively, Cash and Murphy can tell you it’s because that’s exactly what becoming a part of Washington, D.C.’s International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 26 did for them.

Contrary to its name in some respects, IBEW Local 26 is the kind of place that welcomes with open arms, anyone and everyone who is willing to learn and imagine.

Imagine a future of stability, of Co-Workers who become family, of coming home at the end of long, fulfilling days and having time to spend with the people you love.

Of continuing to grow and advance in your career and seeing that growth in compensation and knowledge of an industry you love.

And that also means there is no one size fits all when it comes to those who might excel in this field.

“The ideal Apprentice is someone who is at the point where they are looking for a career,” Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Murphy said. “We have people who are working (in the electrical field) as a job but we are really looking for somebody who is looking to make it a fulltime, life-long career.”

In the Apprenticeship Program, both Cash and Murphy know the ideal Apprentice isn’t someone with all the answers or even with any experience, but instead someone who’s willing to put the time in it takes to learn them.

And for those who are willing, there are in turn, tons of benefits.

Apprentices’ are paid while in the program, meaning there’s no post-graduation debt.

To off-set the cost, Apprentices spend one day out of every two weeks in school and the rest learning tactical training on the job.

As graduates of the program themselves, both Murphy and Cash had different experiences prior to joining.

Murphy always knew college wasn’t for him, while Cash tried college for two years before running out of money.

“After that, I reached out to the IBEW.  I applied to the Apprenticeship.  I got in at (20 years old) and after the five years (in the program), I made more than both my parents - combined,” Director of Apprenticeship, Cash said.

And both Cash and Murphy will be the first to tell you that while the benefits are a huge selling point for many, that doesn’t mean the program is necessarily for everyone.

For example, Bill Murphy is very specific about the kind of time and the amount of work involved in being an Apprentice for IBEW Local 26.

He says they’re looking for someone with dedication, initiative and motivation.

“Somebody who has the initiative to be able to get up and come to school and go to work. Somebody who is humble enough to take direction and to be guided through the learning they are going through.  Somebody smart enough to get through the textbooks and be able to answer the questions and pass the tests and somebody who is social enough to be able to work well with others both in the classroom and on the job site,” Murphy said.

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