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Powering Chicago: Expertly Trained Electricians for Your EV Charging Station Needs

2024-05-30

DONDUO EV Charging Station

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“As more and more cars will be electric, we are going to need charging stations. Who is going to build the charging stations?

The Powering Chicago Difference 

While the push to increase electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is relatively recent, the IBEW/NECA Technical Institute (IN-Tech) in Alsip, IL, has been training members on this specialized work for decades. At IN-Tech, IBEW Local 134 electricians train through a five-year, accredited apprenticeship program and graduate as electrical journeypersons. Apprentices complete 8,000 hours of combined classroom and on-the-job training during the program. IN-Tech’s U.S. Department of Labor-recognized apprenticeship program has trained union electricians on electric vehicle infrastructure from the beginning. 

“As more and more cars will be electric, we are going to need charging stations. Who is going to build the charging stations? Here [IBEW Local 134] is where you’ll find the women and men that are prepared to do it.” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin during a visit to the IBEW Local 134 Union Hall.

Leading the way for EV training in Illinois is the state-of-the-art Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Training Field that was opened in 2015 at IN-Tech. The training field opened to educate and train IBEW Local 134 electricians on green energy concepts and applications. The training field, the only one of its kind in the Midwest, provides hands-on education for wind and solar power, battery storage, and electrical vehicle charging infrastructure.

All Powering Chicago members are qualified under the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Certification Requirements to perform the installation, maintenance, or repair work on electric vehicle charging stations. Powering Chicago contractors have the resources and knowledge to ensure EV charging stations are installed correctly the first time, meeting or exceeding all local electrical codes. This is especially important in the City of Chicago, which has its own electrical code. Because of the varied qualifications and expertise among Chicagoland contractors, selecting a qualified electrical contractor is the most important step in getting your EV charging project started.

Training the next generation of electricians on the importance and safe installation of renewable energy, including safe and high-quality installations of EV charging stations and supporting electrical infrastructure, is critically important. The Illinois IBEW Renewable Energy Fund (REF) was established to promote the safe, productive, and sustainable growth of renewable energy system training in Illinois. 

The Illinois IBEW Renewable Energy Fund, through Powering Chicago member trainers, also educates area fire departments to ensure firefighters and paramedics are properly prepared to safely handle renewable energy components like solar arrays and electric vehicle charging stations. The training program focuses on system awareness and identification, safety concerns and hazard mitigation, and codes and standards affecting solar and energy storage.

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