Lanham, Md.-based Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) recently received a visit from President Obama, who toured the electrical training facility and gave remarks about clean energy, announcing an $8.3 billion loan to build a nuclear power plant in Georgia. Accompanied by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26 Business Manager Chuck Graham, President Obama and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu viewed the AutoCAD, motor control, programmable logic controllers (PLC), and life safety labs while JATC instructors demonstrated how each area works and how technology can conserve energy.

In the PLC lab, Assistant JATC Director Ralph Neidert showed the president how variable frequency drives and power quality meters save the facility thousands of dollars on their energy bills. Rhett Roe, assistant JATC director, allowed the president to set off the fire alarm in the life safety lab. "I was just mentioning that I got a chance to pull the first fire alarm since I was in junior high," said President Obama. "And I didn't get in trouble for it,%quot;

During his remarks, the president noted, "This is an extraordinarily impressive facility, where workers are instructed on everything from the installation of sophisticated energy hardware and software to the basics of current and resistance. We need to look no further than the workers and apprentices who are standing behind me to see the future that's possible when it comes to clean energy."

A video of the president's visit is available on the White House Web site.