On Wednesday of this week, students in Southview career technical education classes received a visitor with a message from the future. The visitor was Jim Hamill, and he came to spread the word about the Toledo Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC). The JATC provides a post-high school education program for future electricians where students “earn while they learn,” an earning that not only leads to a paycheck, but also to college credit. Mr. Hamill spoke to two groups of students: those in Jon Austin’s Engineering II class and those in Bob Johnson’s Construction II class. These seniors expressed a mix of post-high school ambitions, but all listened attentively to Mr. Hamill, especially when he got to the money.
“As part of the IBEW [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers], you can make $37.50 per hour, base pay. Think about that at 40 hours a week. Can you do that math?” Mr. Hamill asked. They could, and the size of that base salary was impressive. It certainly got their attention.
But the discussion did not end with numbers. Mr. Hamill explored the intellectual engagement of electrical trades, as well as the high demand for skilled electrical workers, which could almost ensure work for anyone that finished the program. Students left armed with information and an invitation to visit the JATC to learn more, an invitation Mr. Austin and Mr. Johnson will add to their list of similar programs for their students to explore.
That’s because at Southview, students from both Sylvania high schools receive more than their counterparts in similar districts. Without leaving their home community, they can move from exploring career paths requiring years of college education to those requiring apprenticeships and certifications. Career technical programs open to juniors and seniors provide opportunities to explore career fields ranging from medical technology to computer programming to cosmetology. And with college completion rates showing that college does not fit every graduating high school senior, our students are given the chance to explore every option. When a guest like Jim Hamill comes to these classes and presents yet another solid option for crafting a high-paying career in an in-demand field, we know our students are better prepared to make informed choices that will lead to rewarding work and limitless opportunities.