The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have joined forces to address the shortage of electricians predicted in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2014 the national need for electrical workers will rise to more than 734,000, which is 78,000 beyond the number currently employed in the field.

“Through our National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, we have been actively promoting our apprenticeship program to stem the manpower drop-off,” said Edwin D. Hill, president of the IBEW. “Right now, we have nearly 40,000 apprentices in 290 programs around the country. We aim to increase those numbers by committing US$100 million annually to develop the electrical workforce of the future.”

In addition, IBEW and NECA have created a website for students contemplating careers. At the site, www.electrifyingcareers.com, visitors can browse through descriptions of nearly 60 different types of jobs available — including that of lineman — as well as watch video testimonials from students already pursuing careers in this critical industry.