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Cleveland Training
Center Gets High-Tech Makeover

July/August 2004 IBEW Journal

A $1.2 million expansion and renovation of the Local 38 training center makes the Cleveland facility one of the only places in northern Ohio that provides a key teledata certification.

Maureen Shelton, a third-year
teledata apprentice, punches
wires in a phone block at the
new Cleveland Electrical
Joint Apprenticeship and
Training Center.

The project, which doubled the training capacity of the facility, is the culmination of two years of planning by the Cleveland Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center, a partnership of the greater Cleveland chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association and Local 38.

The renovation allowed for the addition of four new classrooms and a telecommunications lab that will feature BICSI certification. The center will educate a new generation of IBEW members skilled in the installation of the high-tech cable and data wires required to meet modern business demands.

"With this high-quality emphasis, well produce a higher level of technician in this field," said Salvatore "Sam" Chilia, Local 38 business manager and Third District International Executive Council member.

The April 30 rededication ceremony drew local leaders, county officials and IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill.

Following the reaching of a 1997 teledata agreement, Local 38 and its NECA counterpart launched an aggressive effort to win work in the emerging technology of telecom and voice data video installation. Chilia said Local 38 now has 234 members trained in the field.

The remodel and expansion will allow the JATC to continue the emphasis on training new apprentices and retraining inside wiremen to do the work.

"The demands of faster and higher quality data are present everywhere," Whittaker said. Many businesses are so dependent on their communications networks "if they lose their data for just a second, there can be serious consequences," said Local 38 President Tom Whittaker