My father works in HVAC and my grandfather, now retired, did every kind of electrical work–residential, commercial and industrial maintenance. He’s very knowledgeable. Listening to him talk about his work inspired me to train as an electrician.
A friend of my father’s told him that attending the school’s electrician program was the best decision of his life. I looked at another school, but the cost was much higher, and the program was a lot longer. At MTTI I wouldn’t be taking social studies and other general education courses. Everything taught in the seven-month program would be what I needed to start working as an electrical apprentice.
If someone says to me, “Do this, this and this”, I’m thinking, “Wait, what?” But when someone shows me the steps to take to complete the task, it’s a lot easier for me to grasp. My instructor, Ian, had the patience to teach me the skills step-by-step.
Wiring things on my own at school prepared me to work in the field without needing someone to watch me every second. Group projects taught me how to work with others as part of a team. We were encouraged to think creatively by first trying to fix the mistakes we made on our own. That helped me gain good troubleshooting and problem-solving skills to use on-the-job.
Wiring the “rooms” in the shop modules was very close to how I would eventually wire kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms in an actual house. We roughed in, drilled and snaked the wiring and installed main panel circuits. We added lights, doorbells and alarms, baseboard electrical heating and electrical services. We studied the National Electrical Code and also certified in OSHA 10 Safety.
Pipe bending has to be done in a very specific way. Ian went over each type of bend and we had lots of practice in the shop. I still find it challenging to do on an actual job, but I work off of my memory of how I did it in the shop at school. At the end of the day, I’ve always been able to do the bends.
Shawn sent my resume to Izzo Electric & Son. I interviewed and was hired to start on the first day of internship. A good company to work for, Izzo Electric is very willing to hire first year apprentices. They treat us fairly. There is lots of room to grow and move up with the company.
I’ve used the skills I learned at MTTI to work on a commercial project at the AAA building in Warwick. I’ve also worked in a factory in Providence and at the Hampton Inn in Seekonk. I’ve installed switches and receptacles. I’ve run wire, bent pipe and even assisted in putting in an elevator disconnect.
At one site I first saw just metal studs with wires around them. Now there’s sheetrock over everything. I saw the lights go up and all of the receptacles go in. As all of the work in the building is finished, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I can say, “Oh, yeah, I did that, or, I helped with that.”
You are climbing 12-foot ladders and working high up. Sometimes you’ll be looking at a wall with a box full of wires, asking yourself, “Where do all of these go?” But I’m happy because instead of sitting at a desk all day, I’m out in a field, working with my hands. I drive home at the end of each day feeling I’ve worked hard. I like that feeling.
A lot of young people go to college because the high schools recommend that. I have friends who chose to go to 2- and 4-year colleges. They all have respect for my choice to be in the trades. I talk with them about my work and they are impressed with what I am doing. In the time it takes for someone to complete four years of college, I’ll be earning a living and also completing work hours to get my Journeyman’s License.
Everyone—students, staff and instructors—was respectful and kind. My classmates knew when to joke around and have fun, and when to be serious. I’ve worked with people who went to other schools and I feel I got a better education. Electrical work is not easy, but it’s a career that pays well. It’s nice to look forward to a good future with Izzo Electric and a lifelong career in the trades as an electrician.
Spotlight Photo: Corey in the residential electrical module at MTTI.
Right Photo: Corey working on solar panels at MTTI.
Left Photo: Corey working at a commercial project for Izzo Electric.