New Imperial Valley Electrical Training Center waiting for approval

An aerial view of several solar panel projects in the Imperial Valley. (Google Image).

EL CENTRO – The San Diego Electrical Training Trust (SDETT) has pushed for a new Imperial Valley Electrical Training Center (IVETC) to meet the increasing demand for trained electricians.

The SDETT has been training residents of the Imperial Valley since 2007 and has trained upwards of 17,500 people in different electrical trades, according to SDETT reports. SDETT is currently operating training facilities in the Imperial Valley and San Diego.

The proposed new facility is anticipated to have ten classrooms and a lab for hands-on training and education. Students will be trained for several positions, making them eligible for hiring after completion of the required courses.

All applicants are welcomed and encouraged. Applicants will be expected to take an initial aptitude test to qualify for the apprenticeship program.

Rick Gonzalez, the training coordinator, explained that the program currently offering apprenticeships is located at the Union Hall until the new training center is built.

“We do have apprenticeships at the Union Hall. We have two classrooms and a lab for them to get hands-on experience,” said Gonzalez.

IVETC will educate and prepare students for several job titles incluing Electrical Coordinator, Energy Analyst, Wind Turbine Installer, and several other positions. Several companies have already agreed to hire students one they complete their training.

Chula Vista Electric, Moore Electric, and Audio Associates are just a few of the largest contractors in the field of energy efficiency that have already signed the appropriate documentation to hire students from IVETC.

According to SDETT, at least 250 job opportunities will arise because of the training facility. The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) will be responsible for hiring students for partnering companies.

California Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, State Sen. Ben Hueso, El Centro Mayor Alex Cardenas, IID General Manager Kevin Kelley, and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors are all in support of the training facility and are working towards getting it up and running, officials said. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Committee has also approved the project.

However, the project still needs grant approval before the building process can begin.

Gonzalez explained that the approval and building process can be lengthy. He expects to have the training center built within two years of approval.

“We have a high unemployment rate in the Imperial Valley and sometimes that means having to travel to find work. This training center will help to provide good training and find good jobs,” said Gonzalez.