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President Obama Visits Lanham, MD Electrical Training Facility

President toured JATC facility and made remarks about funds for new nuclear power plant

LANHAM, MD- February 16, 2010- The Washington, DC Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) received a visit from President Obama. The President toured the state-of-the-art electrical training facility in Lanham, MD and gave remarks about clean energy, announcing $8.3 billion loan to build a nuclear power plant in Georgia.


 The JATC provides training to electricians in the Washington, DC metropolitan and surrounding areas. It offers accredited three and five year programs where apprentices receive classroom and on-the-job training in electrical construction including an extensive alternative energy curriculum.

Accompanied by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26 Business Manager Chuck Graham; President Obama and Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu took a 30-minute tour of the electrical training facility. They viewed the AutoCAD, motor control, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and life safety labs while JATC instructors demonstrated how each area works and as well as how technology can conserve energy.

In the PLC lab, assistant JATC director, Ralph Neidert showed the President how variable frequency drives and power quality meters save the facility thousands of dollars on their energy bills. Rhett Roe, assistant JATC director made President Obama's day when he encouraged him to set off the fire alarm in the life safety lab.

"I was just mentioning that I got a chance to pull the first fire alarm since I was in junior high. And I didn't get in trouble for it," President Obama said later.

Sean Myers, director of special projects at the JATC and Kevin Burton, JATC instructor demonstrated the motor control and AutoCAD equipment. All of the instructors appreciated President Obama's comment that they were "right there" with Secretary Chu during the technical discussions.

During his remarks, the President noted, "This is an extraordinarily impressive facility, where workers are instructed on everything from the installation of sophisticated energy hardware and software to the basics of current and resistance. We need to look no further than the workers and apprentices who are standing behind me to see the future that's possible when it comes to clean energy."

JATC apprentices earn family sustaining wages for the classroom and on-the-job training and graduate with real industry experience and recognized credentials at no cost to the student.

The JATC is sponsored by the Washington, DC Chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association and IBEW Local 26. It graduates approximately 100 apprentices each year.

A video and transcript of the President's remarks can be found at the www.whitehouse.gov.

About The Electrical Alliance
The Electrical Alliance is a cooperative effort between electrical contractors and skilled craftsmen to provide quality products and services to customers and to set the standard for efficiency and productivity within the electrical industry. It is jointly sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association and Local 26, IBEW. To learn more, visit http://news.getchargedup.org or follow the Electrical Alliance on Twitter @dcelec_alliance.

Editor's Note: Photos of the tour are available here.