First Woman Takes Helm of Washington, DC area Electrical Apprenticeship Program

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For the first time in its 75-year history, Washington, DC’s electrical apprenticeship program, the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC), is led by a woman. This summer, Army Veteran, Kevin Burton, was appointed Training Director.

Kevin Burton is the Washington, DC JATC's new Training Director.

Burton’s vision for the JATC's future centers around increasing student accountability and resources, while providing employer support.

For the first time in its 75-year history, DC’s electrical apprenticeship program, Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC), is led by a woman. This summer, Kevin Burton was appointed Training Director.

An Army veteran, Burton entered the field of electrical construction and graduated from the Inside Wireman apprenticeship in 2006. She became an instructor and then most recently held the position of assistant director of apprenticeship. Burton is a graduate of the National Training Institute and Master Instructor. She also graduated from University of Maryland University College with a B.A. in Humanities in 2010.

Burton’s vision for the JATC going forward centers around increasing student accountability and resources, while providing employer support.

“In years past the apprenticeship was highly regarded for its ability to produce the best and brightest electricians in the industry. Along with the production of a quality electrician came heavy attrition and thus wasted funds. In the most recent years, the apprenticeship has adopted a system that curbs attrition, but doesn’t provide support and resources for the issues that arise from those who have the potential to succeed, but are quite there yet,” Burton explained.

“It’s now time to meet in the middle. It’s time to throw away the quiz/quiz/test system and replace it with a method that encourages the student to learn and holds the apprentice accountable when they don’t meet the standards. It’s also imperative that the JATC strengthens its support of the contractors who are an integral part of the training process,” she explained.

Burton has served as a Trustee for the Berger Marks Foundation, and Chair of the District of Columbia Young Trade Unionists, AFL-CIO, a young worker group dedicated to empowering, educating and uniting young America in the labor movement. She delivered the invocation at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ (IBEW) 2008 Women’s Conference, assisted in the IBEW’s diversity training video, served as a panelist for the AFL-CIO’s first Youth Summit, and facilitated a discussion on AutoCAD software for President Barack Obama in 2010.

Burton volunteers with IBEW Local 26’s Minority Coalition and apprenticeship club (Apprentices Reaching our Community-DC) which she co-founded. She is scheduled to complete her law degree at George Washington University Law School in December. As a law student, Burton’s 35-page article, “The Perfect Storm for Labor Reform: the Past, Present and Possibilities for the National Labor Relations Act” was published as the lead article in the 2015 Winter Edition of the Employee Relations Law Journal.

The JATC is sponsored by the Electrical Alliance, a cooperative effort between the Washington, DC Chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the IBEW, Local 26.

About The Electrical Alliance

The Electrical Alliance is a cooperative effort between electrical contractors and skilled craftsmen to provide quality products and services to customers and to set the standard for efficiency and productivity within the electrical industry. It is jointly sponsored by the Washington DC, Chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association and IBEW, Local 26. To learn more, visit http://www.electricalalliance.org/news-press or follow the Electrical Alliance on Twitter @dcelec_alliance.

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Elizabeth Johnson
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