Bellingham, Washington – November 5, 2018
Bellingham Technical College (BTC) Electrician program students will be able to enhance their technical training following the donation of cutting-edge service panels and panel boards (breaker boxes), including standard and combination AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers, from Siemens.
Representatives from Siemens — a global leader in power distribution, control, energy management equipment — will tour BTC’s Electrician program and work with students on the new equipment Wednesday, November 7.
“Siemens’ generous donation allows students to gain hands-on, industry-standard training on the newest leading-edge distribution panels and circuit breakers, giving them the skills, understanding, and application of the current codes being rolled out by the National Electric Code,” said William Wells, BTC Electrician Instructor. “BTC’s labs now are able to feature side-by-side comparative set-ups including older panels and the new Siemens-donated panels, allowing students to study and train on both. This helps our students enter the workforce with skills needed by industry and is an enormous benefit.”
Siemens’ donation and visit are part of the SIschool program, which gives students hands-on experience with advanced wiring skills and the opportunity to become familiar with the technologies used in today’s electrical industry. This donated power distribution equipment retails for approximately $10,000 and includes single-family, multi-family, and commercial building services and panel boards that provide vital improvements in operation and safety for the public and efficient installation for the electrical worker.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Bellingham Technical College to provide hands-on training for the next-generation of electrical industry workers,” said David Quatela, Brand Strategy Manager at Siemens. “This program will help address the industry’s skills shortage by bringing the technology directly into the classroom, preparing these students to fill open positions and shape U.S. infrastructure for years to come.”
Siemens’ combination circuit panels solve a vital issue that the National Electric Code (NEC, or NFPA 70, a regionally adoptable standard for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment in the United States) has long been working to resolve by combining both types of circuits: the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter), which is designed to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks, and AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter), which protects against fires caused by arcing faults. Arcing faults often occur in damaged or deteriorated wires and cords. AFCI is an advanced circuit breaker that, as a way to reduce electrical fire threats, breaks the circuit when it detects a dangerous electric arc in the circuit that it protects.
This donation allows BTC Electrician students to train on and familiarize themselves with the advanced equipment that they will see on the job when they start their careers as electricians.