Thirty-three IP workers complete electricians’ course

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FRANKLIN—Thirty-three International Paper employees recently completed a Virginia Master Electrician Tradesman Exam Preparation course at Paul D. Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center.

The course prepares participants for the 2005 National Electric Code exam.

According to Randy Betz, vice president of Workforce Development at PDCCC, passing the exam will help electricians start and run their own businesses.

“This licensure will increase their attractiveness as employees in many businesses and organizations once the Franklin Mill closes,” Betz said.

The course was funded through the local Workforce Investment Board, Opportunity Inc.

Classes met in the Technology Theater two times per week for four weeks. Lessons included Increasing Code Familiarity, Learning and Reviewing Electrical Calculations, Learning How to Take the Exam, Taking a Practice Exam Together and a Comprehensive Review of all topics. Electricians completed all eight sessions and received a Certificate of Completion with Continuing Education Units.

Steve Jurnigan, an International Paper Franklin Mill electrician, took a lead role in identifying the need for the course.

“I was happy that I could help others gain the knowledge to pass the NEC test,” Jurnigan said. “A lot of these people I have been working with most of my career.”

“I am glad we had a large number of people take the class. We also had great participation and discussion,” he continued. “It was an excellent learning environment, which helped everybody. We also had a very knowledgeable instructor that everybody was comfortable with. I would recommend him to others seeking NEC exam prep.”

Gerald Dix, a college adjunct faculty member and vice president of Tidewater Power Electric, was the instructor.

“The last night we had class, Gerald and I both got a lot of ‘thank-yous’ from the students,” Jurnigan said. “This made it all worthwhile.

Gerald added up a total of 850 years of electrical experience from all of our course participants.”

Dix is familiar with the International Paper Franklin Mill, having worked there many years as an electrical contractor. He has completed apprentice school and obtained his Virginia Journeyman Electrician License in 1996, followed by his joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1340.

Dix started teaching National Electric Code classes and then became a substitute apprenticeship instructor for the Joint Apprenticeship Training Council. In 2008, he began teaching National Electric Code continuing education classes.