IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center Expands Training Staff for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

10 Additional Instructors Certified Through “Train the Trainor” Program

Anticipating the growing need for reliable electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center has expanded its EV infrastructure training staff.  During the summer, the training center added 10 new instructors for its Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP), pioneered with the help of IBEW/NECA 10 years ago.  The training center completed its first round of two EV charger classes with the new training staff.  It added more than 30 EVITP-trained journey workers and apprentices to IBEW Local 1’s proficiencies in fortifying the network of EV infrastructure.  The training center launched more classes on Oct. 4, 2021.

Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, the training center is jointly operated by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).  IBEW/NECA partner to form the Electrical Connection, which engages and offers it resources to business and civic leadership to advance the next generation of electrical and communications infrastructure, including EV infrastructure and all disruptive technologies shaping the future. 

The expanded training staffwillalso ready the skilled workforce needed for President Biden’s $1.4 trillion infrastructure plan moving through Congress. It includes significant investment in modernizing electrical and communication infrastructure, including upgrading the electrical grid, expanding EV infrastructure and broadband.

“As always, modernizing electrical and communications infrastructure is highly dependent on the skilled and safe workforce we train,” noted Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1. “In many ways, the Biden infrastructure plan is reminiscent of FDR’s rural electrification program in the 1930s and the massive transformation of manufacturing to serve a war economy in the 1940s.  The nation relied on our workforce back then and can rely on it today to advance a much more complex infrastructure modernization.”

“Our apprentices and skilled electricians engaged in continuing education are excited about EVITP,” noted Shawn Levin, director of the training center. “The workforce we train is proud all that they build, but when it is part of a transformative moment to meet the nation’s needs, it is particularly inspiring work. They’ll be able to tell their kids and grandkids that were part of history.”

The national Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) develop in 2011 established standards for reliable EV infrastructure installations to support an emerging EV market. Dr. Linda Little, assistant director of the training center, helped develop the EVITP national curriculum and the reliability standards that include Article 625 of the National Electrical Code, which covers EV charging systems. 

“Our contractors are prepared to provide complete turn-key service to expand the network of EV charging stations,” said Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis Chapter NECA.  “They are fully proficient at optimizing Ameren EV charger incentive programs, site planning, engineering, acquiring and installing charging stations.”  A total of 17 Electrical Connection-member contractors have managed the reliable installation of EV charging stations throughout the region.

Ameren Missouri began offering its new incentives this year to business customers through the Charge Ahead program.  It includes up to a $5,000 rebate for Level 2 charging stations, which delivers 25 miles of distance for every hour charged. More robust DC fast chargers can charge an EV battery up to 80 percent capacity in 30 to 45 minutes and include up to $20,000 in rebates from Ameren.  More information on the incentives can be found at www.ameren.com/missouri/business/electric-vehicles.

 “Business and civic leadership have engaged the Electrical Connection to advance a reliability standard for EV infrastructure,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “IBEW/NECA have invested considerable resources to ensure that happens.” 

Earlier this year, the Electrical Connection donated a dual-port EV charging station and its installation to the St. Charles County Economic Development Council (EDC) to help encourage more investment in expanding EV charging station networks.  NECA contractor RJP Electric performed the installation with its IBEW workforce.

Contractors fully experienced in renewable energy and EV charging stations can be found on the Electrical Connection’s database of electrical contractors.

The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Learn more at www.electricalconnection.org.

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