INDIANAPOLIS -- A group in Indianapolis is looking to address what it calls an industry-wide shortage of electricians. Central Indiana Independent Electrical Contractors, or IEC Indy, is launching an accelerated training program in January in order to get more new electricians on the job. Executive Director Sherri Puckett says the accelerated program allows potential electricians to begin their training earlier, instead of having to wait until August when the next cohort of the organization's existing program begins.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Executive Director Sherri Puckett said the shortage is somewhat due to retiring baby boomers and a lack of workers to replace them.

"We see only one person entering the workforce in the trades versus five baby boomers retiring, so we just don't see the number of individuals entering the construction workforce these days like there was a long time ago," said Puckett. "Right now, Indiana construction is booming and there's always going to be a need for electricians, especially as we go into the future."

Puckett says efforts to fill trade positions are growing throughout the state, though more work needs to be done.

"I believe schools are starting to do a really good job with inviting apprenticeship programs such as ourselves to career days and to other functions that they're having where they're the students and the parents to listen to the different programs and different alternatives to college education. Also, a couple years ago, Governor Holcomb initiated the Next Level Jobs initiative and that is giving employers and also individuals grant money to send their individuals to training."

Building & Construction is one of the five high-demand fields identified in the Next Level Jobs initiative and spotlights electricians among the careers available in that field. Puckett says the governor is trying to encourage employers in these fields to start training their individuals by providing Workforce Ready Grants.

The accelerated program will begin in January with two classes per week. Puckett says the program wraps up in May and participants will then be able to begin their second-year apprenticeship in August.

The deadline to register for the accelerated program is December 15. You can learn more about the program by clicking here.