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IBEW lends its support to Ivy Tech Kokomo campus transformation

Union, College partnership benefits students, employers, community

  • 3 min to read

TRANSFORMATION — For Mike Young and Zach Walker, business manager and business agent for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 873 respectively, the new technology spaces on Ivy Tech Kokomo’s transformed campus will transform the College portion of their apprenticeship program.

For the Electrical Professionals of IBEW Local 873, the local unit of the oldest and largest electrical union in the world, their financial support of the Ivy Tech Kokomo campus transformation project is just a natural continuation of decades of partnership.

As Local 873 Business Manager Mike Young says, “For more than 30 years, Ivy Tech has partnered with our Electrical Training Alliance to provide our graduates with a high-quality, trade-specific education that allows us to be the most highly trained and productive electrical workforce in the electrical industry.”

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Local 873, with more than 350 active members, represents and serves Clinton, Grant, Howard, Miami, Tipton, and Wabash counties in north central Indiana. With headquarters in Kokomo, its apprenticeship program to develop new generations of electrical professional is based at Ivy Tech Kokomo.

“The highlight of this project for me is that the electricians who are doing the diverse range of electrical work – creating the power feeds to the buildings, running miles of conduit, pulling wire, and installing lighting, communications, and security systems – are graduates of Ivy Tech Kokomo!” Young said.

“This exemplifies the intricate relationship of IBEW 873 and Ivy Tech Kokomo. The electricians who were educated at Ivy Tech Kokomo are building the facilities that the next generation will be educated in. That is simply amazing and we couldn’t be prouder to financially support this new transformation.”

Young also pointed out an important feature of the Ivy Tech-IBEW relationship: its strong support of the local community.

“Our students go to a local college, so the money is kept local,” he said. “The workforce that is trained by Ivy Tech through IBEW 873 is a local workforce that stays in our community, lives in our community, works for IBEW contractors in our community, pays taxes in our community, goes to church in our community, and volunteers in our community. This strategic relationship magnifies IBEW Local 873’s commitment to local workers, local jobs, and a strong local economy!”

After a tour of technology areas already completed at Ivy Tech, Young and Zach Walker, the local’s business agent, were struck by the new spaces that will be available to their apprentices. “This is a great work-and-learn environment,” Walker said.

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“With classrooms and labs located side-by-side, and equipment that’s just what the apprentices will be working with in the field, our students will really be able to excel,” Young added. “If you hear a lesson, you retain so much. If you hear a lesson and see it demonstrated, you retain more. If you hear it, and see it, and do it – like you can here … learning will be reinforced 10-fold.”

Young and Walker are looking forward to seeing the end result of the transformation of “Building 3,” Ivy Tech Kokomo’s Technology Center, that is now under way. The IBEW logo will be proudly displayed in the new technology spaces as a thank-you for Local 873’s support to the $43 million Campus Transformation.


The relationship between The Electrical Professionals of IBEW Local 873 and Ivy Tech Community College has spanned decades and continues to grow stronger each year.

Business Manager Mike Young notes that Ivy Tech has been the union’s primary educational training partner for its five-year apprenticeship program for more than 30 years. “In fact,” he says, “the relationship goes back decades before the five-year program was instituted, when the program only took four years.”

Over the years, classes have been held in buildings downtown and even in trailers behind Ivy Tech’s buildings on East Morgan Street. Young said, “The new facilities will take the program into the 22nd Century.”

In the five-year program, apprentices complete more than 1,000 classroom hours with Ivy Tech instructors and a minimum of 8,000 on-the-job hours. Young puts that into perspective: “That’s more hours of training than it takes to get a master’s degree!”

“Along with their certifications, the highly skilled graduates of our apprenticeship program earn an Ivy Tech Associate of Applied Science degree,” Young said. “And, thanks to our state-of-the-art certified apprenticeship program, they also leave college debt-free!”

Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Service area serves Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, and Tipton counties including the communities of Kokomo, Logansport, Peru, Rochester, and Tipton.