A new facility in Bartonville is bringing job opportunities to Central Illinois.


“It’s kind of our open house party, as far as who we are and what we’re about,” said Brandon Currie, a training director for the electrical apprenticeship program. “But it’s also really about introducing the community, high school kids, anybody who is looking for a prospective opportunity in the construction related trades.”


Dozens of industry organizations attended an open house at the Peoria Area Electrical JATC Friday to teach people what they do on a daily basis.


From conduit bending to wiring installation, students got hands-on experience.


“The apprenticeship model; it’s probably the oldest education model,” said Currie. “And whether people learn by reading, listening to lecture, everyone learns by touch and feeling, smelling, tasting. Giving them that hands-on experience is a fantastic way to introduce them to who we are and what we do.”


High school students were curious to learn more about the apprenticeship program.


“It’s a different trade to learn,” said Logan Peters, a student at Manual High School. “I just want to see all I’m interested in and this seems very interesting for me.”


Currie explained all the opportunities that come from an apprenticeship.


“How prevalent we are throughout the community,” said Currie. “How many members, both men and women. Whether it be, like I said, sales or manufacturing in the trade themselves, you’ll be able to earn a good upper to middle class living through the trade.”


And there are some advantages to pursuing an apprenticeship after high school.


“Their schooling is paid for,” said Currie. “They have no financial obligations, as far as the apprenticeship is concerned. And when they graduate, they’ve got a $100,000 a year job with no student loan debt.”


The Electrical Open House allowed high school students to explore other options after graduation.


“That way, you have more things to experience and know what you really want to do,” said Aide Guerrero, a student at Manual High School.


The program takes applications the first Thursday of every month from 9 am – 1 pm.