Northern Alabama JATC – a New Focus on Apprenticeship Skills
With help from Union Built PC, IBEW Local 558 JATC designs brand-new Technology Equipped Classroom
|IBEW Local 558 JATC Training Director Ron Weaver knows what his apprentices have to have in order to succeed. “When I think of what my students need from their JATC, I consider where the industry is going, and what these guys will be faced with on the job,” said Ron during a recent planning meeting.
To align the center with those needs, he and his committee considered traditional training approaches as well as new technologies. “Computer technology gives us a medium to be able to demonstrate a multitude of things that we couldn’t before. And especially for younger apprentices, it’s a perfect fit because they are attuned to learning this way.”
The Northern Alabama JATC, as it’s also called, recently completed a brand new building in Sheffield, AL, with multimedia LCD projectors, a computer lab with nearly 20 stations, laptops for the instructors, and a top-of-the-line file server. All of the computer equipment was supplied by Union Built PC, Inc.
“We’ve seen Union Built at the NTI show in Knoxville for years, and when we got agreement to go forward with a lab and administrator PCs, we knew we wanted to enlist the help of a company that knows IBEW Training centers. They didn’t let us down.”
Completed in late January, the new IBEW Local 558 Training center is a key component of the training that IBEW Local 558 offers for electrical workers in their jurisdiction, which covers many counties in Alabama. In fact, the local itself also purchased a network file server and workstations from Union Built at the same time. “We knew they’d take care of us, and they certainly did. We’ve got equipment now to make the union function more smoothly than ever before,” said Larry Farmer, Business Manager of the local. The new JATC building was built right next door to the new Local union building.
The Hardware Specs:
File Server: Union Built Mark II with automated hard disk backup, remote access tech support over high speed lines, firewall, virus, and spam protection, web and email hosting, and 3 year warranty
Desktop PCs: Pentium IV Dual Core, 1 gig RAM, 80 gig HD, Wireless G network adapters, gigabit Ethernet adapter, 17" LCD monitor, Windows XP Professional. Also, the lab PCs are designed to clean themselves off each night and restore themselves to a pristine state upon reboot, so that clutter, spyware, cookies, and thumbnail pictures don't remain on the PCs.
Laptops: 15.4” wide screen, Pentium Dual Core 1.83 gigahertz processor, DVD-RW drive, 40 gig HD, 512 megs RAM, Windows XP Pro, Wireless G and Gigabit Ethernet
Projectors: NEC V695 with 2500 Lumens and 3 year warranty
Document Camera: Samsung Digital Presenter, with and incredible 42X Optical Zoom
Network Backbone: Category 6 cabling with Gigabit Ethernet switches