On October 6th, 7th and 8th, Thompson Electric had an opportunity to work with the construction students at the Sioux Falls Career & Technical Academy. Brian Spader, Mike Anderson, Jeff Bennett, Ted Heath and Kent Grange spent those 3 days talking to the students about the advantages of a career in the electrical industry. We spent time in the classroom discussing the benefits of being an electrician, the different types of electrician and employment opportunities needed in the future.
We also spent time in the shop doing basic wiring, conduit bending, lock-out/tag-out and showing the students PPE (personal protection equipment) that they could be required to wear in certain situations. The students really enjoyed the hands on activities, especially the wiring of the switches and lights.
On the last day, we had the students doing light fixture take-offs and Thompson Electric had made a fire alarm systems display, which allowed the students to pull the fire alarms and see how the systems worked as well as being able to trip the smoke detectors and see the systems response.
We had the students, 52 in all, fill out a survey after the classes and asked them if they would be interested in an electrical program at the C&TE Academy. In an overwhelming positive response, at 90%, the students stated that they would be very interested in participating in an electrical program at the school. This response surpassed everybody’s expectations for interest in an electrical program. My conclusion, it must have been the Thompson Electric teachers.
We are now working with the C&TE Academy to set up an electrical program within the construction program for their students. Being able to introduce the students to the electrical industry at the high school level, creates a tremendous upside for our industry.
Over the past two months, Kent Grange – Director of Business Development, has been in discussions with the CTE Academy in Sioux Falls about the possibility of starting an electrical program. Meeting with Jim Kayl – Principal and Jim Hawkinson – Career Development Counselor, we decided to proceed with an introduction to becoming an electrician. The plan is to have Thompson Electric present a 3 day curriculum, in the fall of 2014, on the different areas of an electrical career to gage the interest by the students to move to the next stage of the program. If there is enough interest by the students, then the CTE Academy will do an introductory to electricity class as part of the construction program, with the ultimate goal of having a dedicated course to the electrical industry.
The curriculum will begin with the basics of electricity, where it comes from and how it is transmitted to the requirements to become a licensed electrician. We will also include hands on projects including the basics of blue print reading, wiring outlets and switches, putting together electrical component, safety protection and pipe bending. We will have Thompson Electric personnel involved with the program to ensure the students safety, as well as the proper instruction of how to work safely in the electrical industry.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Thompson Electric to introduce a new generation of students to our industry.