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#PoweringAmericasFuture – Meet the Next Generation of Skilled Trade Professionals

Posted on:November 16, 2018

Training centers and technical schools worldwide provide up and coming skilled professionals with the education and experiences needed for a successful career in the trades. Despite the difficult, and sometimes dangerous work, these passionate individuals get the job done right. Travel with Klein Tools to a few training facilities across the United States to learn more about what drives the next generation of skilled tradespeople to enter the industry.

Where passing on the trades to the next generation means everything, passion sparks success. The instructors and apprentices in Alsip, Illinois, agree that completing an apprenticeship might just be the best decision a person can make.

“You’ve got to be prepared to invest your whole self into this,” says Jay Niecestro, instructor at the IBEW/NECA Technical Institute. “Your mind, your body … your soul. Everything goes into this, but the payoff is great.”

It’s true – the work isn’t easy, and that’s why the proper training is so important. Apprenticeships offer unique training opportunities because of their combination of classroom and hands-on training. The instructors, who have worked on various jobsites for years, bring valuable, real-world lessons that just can’t be read in a textbook.

From critical safety lessons taught on day one to the dynamics of technology in the field, every day offers exciting learning opportunities. “You really have to be motivated to do it,” says Mateo Vazquez, an apprentice in Alsip. “It can be dangerous, but at the same time it could be really fun to gain knowledge and to really propel in the field.”

Once a person learns what goes into a trade professional’s daily workload, an immediate appreciation for the industry grows. In Des Moines, Iowa, instructors and apprentices work together as a team – no, a family – to ensure the job gets done.

“The things that go into us actually doing the work, the knowledge that you have to have in order to put these electrical systems in, isn’t just your average day thing,” says Kayla White, an apprentice in Des Moines. “Somebody’s got to do it, and at least we are the willing group out there that is going to do it.”

While the technology and the tools might advance, the professionals on the job will always play a vital role on America’s infrastructure. Their dedication to the trades is what helps power schools, hospitals, offices and everything in between. Our communities depend on this hard-working group of tradespeople.

“I love the electrical field. It’s something that’s never going to go out of style,” says Tom Wyant, an apprentice in Des Moines. “It may be updated, but it’s never going to go out of style. Something is always going to be necessary, so I know I have a lot of good job security in that.”

Like any industry, diversity plays a big role in the success of the trades. At the Electrical Industry Training Center in Long Island City, New York, every individual is celebrated for his or her unique contribution to the team.

“There’s mothers, there’s brothers and there’s sisters,” says Nelson Eusebio, instructor. “It’s not one thing that makes you a good electrician, and it’s definitely not one thing that makes you a good Local 3 member.”

At the end of the day, no matter where a person comes from, they must put forward their best work to earn their own sense of personal pride. Though women historically have faced adversity when walking onto a jobsite, instructors consider it a part of their duty to help instill a sense of belonging in everybody.

“It’s NEW,” says Qrenzina Francis. “It’s nontraditional employment for women – a program that takes women and shows them different opportunities that we normally don’t think are open to us.”

A career in the trades might not be for everybody, but new opportunities for people from all backgrounds help the industry continue to succeed as a whole. Stay tuned for the third video in this series to learn more about how Klein Tools is #PoweringAmericasFuture in Long Island City.

Thank you for joining Klein Tools in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week (Nov. 12-18). By taking a closer look at the ins and outs of electrical training facilities, we hope that more aspiring electricians, and tradespeople from all fields, gain a better understanding of the passion and dedication found on each jobsite. What drove you to a career in the trades? Share your experiences with us on social media.

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