History of the JATC

The apprenticeship program dates back to the Local 26’s beginnings- 1893. In 1946, Local 26 and local electrical contractors established the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) to preside over the region’s electrical training. Classes began at McKinley Tech High School and moved to Powell School, then to Bell Vocational School, and finally to St. John’s School in the 1950’s. By 1956, there were 100 apprentices who attended classes four nights a week after on-site training during the day. The apprentices had to pass exams every six months, as well as licensing exams for the city, and a final exam before becoming a journeyman electrician.

To aid current journeymen, the Local 26 began continuing education programs in 1959 to study industrial electronics. Throughout the years, the Local 26 has sponsored journeyman classes in motor control, cable splicing, welding, air conditioning, refrigeration, industrial power, the National Electric Code, and more.

By 1969, Local 26 established its own training center in downtown Washington, DC. Over 200 apprentices were attending classes and the apprenticeship program was extended to five years to make the journeyman electricians better trained and more competitive. Currently, the apprenticeship program is held in the JATC’s state-of-the-art facility in Lanham, MD along with satellite locations around the region.