IBEW celebrates new apprentices

STEUBENVILLE – Ten inside wireman apprentices finished their five-year apprenticeship program and earned associate degrees from Eastern Gateway Community College.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 246 and the Steubenville Division of the National Electrical Contractors Association celebrated the new apprentices’ graduation with a dinner and ceremony at Williams Country Club in Weirton.

The celebration marks the completion of more than 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, accompanied by 1,000 hours of classroom training during the last five years. The 10 moved to journeyman status and all 10 earned enough college credits to be awarded associate degrees of technical studies. This is the fifth group to complete the training and to receive college degrees, officials said.

Anthony Shreve of the NECA Division and Steubenville apprenticeship director praised the journeymen.

He also acknowledged their family members.

The graduating apprentices received certificates of completion from the U.S. Department of Labor and NJATC. Additionally, they were awarded IBEW/NECA class insignia rings and framed journeyman plaques.

New journeymen and college graduates include Stephen R. Badgley of East Liverpool; Michael W. Bell, Steubenville; Dustin R. Crawford, Irondale; Donald S. Hipkiss, Mingo Junction; Matthew M. Keller, Bloomingdale; L. Tyler Kelley, Empire; Lance C. Lucarelli, Rayland; Charles C. Nemeth, Steubenville; Chris J. Scammell, Follansbee; and Greg S. Whiting, Adena.

Laura Meeks, Eastern Gateway president, presented diplomas to the two-year program graduates.

Hipkiss received the John Habash Award for outstanding apprentice. This award is named in honor of long-time apprentice instructor and IBEW leader John Habash of Steubenville.

The award is based on excellence in classroom training, leadership and on-the-job performance. Barkoci will be one of 40 apprentices attending a summer session in Grand Rapids, Mich., this summer to further their knowledge of the electrical construction industry.

Information on apprenticeship and access to skilled electrical craftsman can be obtained by contacting IBEW Local 246 in Steubenville.