Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Meet Nelson Caro, fifth year WECA Commercial Apprentice and Veteran of the United States Marine Corps! Nelson served as a Sergeant, and an intermediate level Hydraulics/Pneumatic Technician for FA-18's and KC130's. He served two tours in Iraq, one in Iwakuni, Japan, and one in Bahrain and Syria-all before applying for WECA's Commercial Apprenticeship program.
WECA prides itself in creating comprehensive programs that prepare students for their state exams, something Nelson found to be a deciding factor in choosing his training program, "seeing that it was a five-year course seemed better to me since there was so much to learn." Nelson adds that WECA "constantly informs you of your class [schedule], as well as material. The website has lots of information and is user friendly. The personnel are very knowledgeable, and the training facility is local, so I don't have to travel too far.... biggest perk is that you won't have student loans or be in debt after you finish the program. Opportunities open up once you pass the program and get your state license, and WECA has other courses that you can take to improve yourself." He dove right into the program, adding that after his first semester, he became "fascinated by all the potential applications that magnetism and electricity had."
So how has Nelson found success in WECA's Apprenticeship program? Here's what he has to say: "First off, I say you should ask as many questions as possible. The instructors are very knowledgeable and have no issues at all answering your questions. Second, having fellow classmates to discuss the topics with--since not everyone learns the same way, it helps to get other points of view to get a better understanding of certain subjects. Last would be the labs-- having labs that show you things like conduit bending, or properly connecting motors circuit etc. are very helpful." He notes that Instructor Keith Smart is particularly helpful; "I like how he relates a lot of the curriculum to what we do daily and gives us different points of views and different ways to apply that knowledge."
As part of his apprenticeship, Nelson works as a lead man with member contractor Bergelectric Corporation! He notes that Bergelectric is a company he would be grateful to continue working with after graduation; aspiring to become a Foreman, and then a General Foreman. He compliments Bergelectric's loyalty, saying when "you work hard for them, they work hard for you... they have kept giving me different types of jobs so I wasn't stuck just learning one aspect of the trade. I am able to be more versatile because of it."
Being a Veteran in one of WECA's Apprenticeship programs has been a big benefit, Nelson states. "It helped me in a lot of ways. It taught me to be prompt, trained me to get the job done, and taught me to be confident in my work and take pride in myself." He adds that he would absolutely recommend other Veterans to pursue an electrical career. A huge thank you to Nelson Caro for your service, and congratulations on your upcoming graduation!