There is a major shortage of skilled labor in the United States. Electricians are one of the many trades that are in high demand and industry forecasts predict this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. TRIO Electric, an electrical design, construction and service firm based in Houston, Texas is trying to combat the issue. In 2013, TRIO developed an in-house Department of Labor (DOL) approved 4-year electrical apprenticeship program called the TRIO Apprenticeship Program (TAP). The program targets post high-school graduates who are looking for a career in the construction field. Since inception, more than 600 employees have taken advantage of TAP.

In 2017, TRIO refined the program by forming an industry-led partnership with an independent school district and a community college to offer electrical training to high school students. The Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship Program (EPP) gives students the opportunity to learn valuable skills that are in high demand. The EPP curriculum teaches students how to be safe and productive workers as well as other employable and soft skills that are attractive to employers like TRIO. EPP gives high school students who are not bound for college a skillset that is in high demand. This skillset enables students to obtain employment upon graduation in an industry with tremendous upside. The average annual salary for electricians in Texas is $59,760(1) plus benefits. The wages earned in the electrical field combined with the stackable credentials received during school gives students many options – continue their career, go to college or both.

In 2020, TRIO Education was formed as a separate standalone business to continue developing curriculum and training programs for the construction and other industries. TRIO Education continues to expand the high school EPP across Texas and is now licensing its curriculum to adult education programs, community colleges and industry.


1. Texas Workforce Commission BLS Wage Report by Occupation 2019