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Trade School Can Mean Big Salary, No College Debt

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - On Tuesday, CBS2 hosted a Town Hall where one of the hot topics was jobs in Cedar Rapids. Some of the guest panel experts spoke about the need for skilled labor in the area.
They said that often students dont know what opportunities are available to them other than four years of college.  At places like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers or IBEW Joint Apprenticeship Training Center in Cedar Rapids, students get the skills they need to become journeymen electricians. Its a career where there is always work and need.
Its a five- year program that is free to students. All they have to do is pay for their books. The program is funded by IBEW members and contractors. Students are paid each year they work and once they graduate, they receive an IBEW card. That card tells employers all over the country that theyre trained and ready to work. A first year apprentice makes about 25,000 a year. After a five year apprenticeship, a journeyman electrician in Cedar Rapids can make $60,000 a year before overtime. 
What other industry within five years would guarantee Im going to increase your wages by 50%?  Mike Carson, the Training Director of the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City IBEW Joint Apprenticeship Training Center said.
We have people in Des Moines that will tell us, were the best kept secret in Iowa, Bill Hanes the Business Manager at IBEW 405 said.
Now there is a wait list for the IBEW training center, but the add students throughout the year.
All of the different building construction trades have union training centers in Cedar Rapids that includes centers for iron workers, plumbers, sheet metal workers and carpenters to name a few.


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