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Associated Builders and Contractors–Baltimore Metro - Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program (MATP) Success Story

Apprentice Patrick FerrisIn 2006, Patrick Ferris was just out of high school and attending a year of college in Philadelphia. He was unsure of the program he was in and just did not want to go into debt for something he was unsure about. Patrick returned home and worked part time while taking general community college courses. At that time, he took a part time job at DEL Electric, a local electrical contractor. As a young person with no advanced skills or work experience, Patrick made myself useful in my entry-level position by helping with the office and general warehouse duties.

When he was offered a full-time position with DEL in May 2008, Patrick saw an opportunity to learn a skill and focus on his own career. While the work can be demanding at times, Patrick was attracted to the skills and was learning the satisfaction of completing projects. The electrical trade challenged Patrick mentally and physically. The more he learned and applied himself in the field, the more his career excelled.

Associated Builders and Contractors-Baltimore MetroIn 2014, Patrick graduated from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Electrical Registered Apprenticeship program and became an Electrical Mechanic. DEL Electric, like many contractors, paid the entire cost of the four years of tuition for this program, keeping me from going into debt. As his experience and knowledge grew, Patrick was directly helping foremen and leading small projects by running crews of manpower.

Patrick then used his previous college credits, along with the credits obtained from the ABC Apprenticeship, toward taking classes at the Community Colleges of Baltimore County (CCBC), in the Catonsville Construction program. There he obtained the Construction Craft Professional Certificate and then later an Associate’s degree. Upon reaching these milestones, Patrick made it his own personal goal to pass the Licensed Masters Electricians Exam. Along with the help of an Associated Builders and Contractors Masters Prep Course and the educational test prep book, Patrick was successful and passed the test, securing his Master Electricians License.

The trades offer many opportunities and are always in high demand. Critical thinking and problem solving skills are as important in the trades as the physical aspects of performing the work. It is amazing how the construction industry offers so many paths to success and reaching fulfilling careers. The majority of these Apprenticeships are structured to “earn while you learn” instead of the traditional college method of acquiring debt, then figuring out how to pay for it over the course of many years.

At this point, Patrick has a great job, respect of my peers, and an unlimited future potential in the electrical industry.

For additional information, contact:
Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning
Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program

1100 N. Eutaw Street, Room 209
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767-2246
Fax: 410-333-5162