Entergy Arkansas has been recognized by the Department of Labor for the apprenticeship program offered to craft employees.

The Department of Labor certifies apprentice programs in several industries, including energy, telecommunications, IT, transportation, hospitality and construction.

All line workers with Entergy Arkansas go through a comprehensive four-year apprentice program developed in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, according to a news release.

An apprenticeship is an arrangement that includes a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component, where a person learns workplace-relevant knowledge and skills, according to the release.

“We’re pleased to have the official certification for what we were doing already to make sure our people are the best trained in the business,” said Melanie Taylor, vice president of customer service at Entergy Arkansas. “This also means our employees now have access to the benefits of programs through the Arkansas Department of Career Education, Veterans Administration and Arkansas Department of Workforce Services. For example, when we hire veterans, they will be able to draw on their GI Bill while they’re in training. When they’re done, they will have earned national, industry-recognized credentials.”

Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. The U.S Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship, works in conjunction with State Apprenticeship Agencies to administer the registered apprenticeship system.

“The IBEW Code of Excellence has helped build a positive and cooperative working relationship with Entergy,” said Shannon Walters, business manager of IBEW Local 647. “This certification shows Entergy Arkansas is committed to recruiting, training and maintaining a strong workforce of skilled employees, and we share that commitment.”

“We look forward to continuing a professional relationship that is of benefit to IBEW members and to the customers who benefit from our skilled labor,” Walters said.

Entergy Arkansas Employees are represented by IBEW Local Union 647 of Little Rock, IBEW Local Union 750 of Pine Bluff, IBEW Local Union 1439 of St. Louis, Missouri, and IBEW Local Union 1703 of El Dorado. Each of these IBEW Local Unions are affiliated with Arkansas AFL-CIO and the AR State Electrical Workers Association. More information can be found at http://www.ibew.org.