New Education Offerings Coming Soon!

Joe Gatewood, President, MEA Board of Directors

One of the largest areas of growth for MEA is their Educational products. Education is also the Number One reason why contractors join MEA. Knowing this makes it all the more important to continue to offer quality and up-to-date training to the industry. Along with my role on the Executive Committee, I have also been serving as the Chair of the Education Committee over the last few years. I am proud of the way MEA has evolved and adapted to trends and technology. I want to share what will be coming up throughout the next year—soon you will see the following courses available for registration.

Motor Controls (PLC) – We held our first 10-week course this spring and it sold out. We have a list of electricians ready to sign up for the next round, which will be taught this upcoming fall. You will learn the basics of programming your PLC online with equipment at your location. We’ll cover bit instructions, logic functions, program documentation, timer functions and applications, addressing rules, counter instruction block, scan cycle, RPI, data communications, Boolean mapping, system status bits, compare instructions, data type conversions, math instructions, integers, real numbers, data manipulation instructions, hardware modules, applications and program flow.

Motor Controls (VFD) – An introduction to a Variable Frequency Drive with hardware and adjustable settings encountered during normal operation. This can be a standalone project or as part of an automation plan that includes a PLC interface. Basic troubleshooting of failed VFD operation will be included.

Motor Controls (HMI) – An introduction to Human Machine Interface (or touchscreen) to interface the PLC operations and controls to the operator. Set up and basic functions of an HMI will be covered.

Solar (PV) – MEA coordinated a preview to this class at Werner Electric last fall. This online basic course reviews electrical terms and conditions that affect the design and installation of PV systems from the electrician’s viewpoint. The instructor will cover considerations for installation and Code articles to maintain compliance for PV installation and commissioning.

Enhanced Exam Preparation Course – This 9-week course was designed to provide up-to-date information needed to pass the Journeyworker or Master Electrician test in Minnesota. The course includes a review of concepts and calculations as well as the typical types and styles of questions that may appear on the tests.

A combination of the above five courses can also be grouped together as an extended training course for your apprentices. Please contact the MEA office to register your apprentices.

Online Self-Paced Training – MEA recognizes our need for on-demand continuing education. With increasing job demands and workforce shortages, finding time away is a challenge. Being able to offer my crew their CE anytime from anywhere will be an enormous stress reliever for me. The Education Committee has been working with the MEA staff for years to determine how we can make this possible for the industry, and it has been no easy task. Approval to move forward was granted by the Board of Directors at the 2018 winter meeting, and the staff has since been working to create a great product to ensure all the correct approvals are granted.

The Education Committee is excited for all that we will be offering to the industry in the upcoming year. Email the MEA office if you want to be on the short list for any of the above courses. They will save you a spot. If you would like a seat on the Education Committee so you can be a part of these decisions and help guide MEA’s Educational programming – please let me know!