Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

Already Belong? Login

Meet the Grissoms: Six Brothers, All WECA Apprentices

Thursday, April 25, 2019

It's all in the family for the Grissom brothers.

Since 2007, there has always been a Grissom brother in WECA's Riverside Apprenticeship program. And brothers Chad Sobloewski (29), Lance Robbins (28), Tommy Grissom (25), Michael Grissom (24), Tyson Grissom (22), and Skylar Grissom (19), wouldn't have it any other way.

The one who started it all - Chad, the oldest - expressed that "going through the apprenticeship program with my siblings has been a cool experience, not only as their mentor, but seeing them establish themselves and learn the trade makes me feel like a very successful individual and a proud big brother."

And judging by his brothers' responses, it's clear that they feel the same way.
Lance: "It was great being in the apprenticeship program with my brothers. I was able to work with three of them throughout my apprenticeship and it was definitely a good experience. Chad and I are currently on the same job right now and it's nice having someone there to push you and constantly try to make you better."
 Tommy: "It's nice to be able to motivate them to do their best and to be motivated by my older brothers. We all want to do good in life and support our families, and that's what it's all about. WECA has done all of us good and my last brother just got in so he will be starting his first class at the same time as my last class, so that's pretty cool."
Michael: "Being in the program with my brothers, I feel, gives us a better reason to do better. Everyone wants to do well, but when you have family go through it before you and you have a brother in the same class, it really makes you want to do better."
Tyson: "I get to help my brothers with schoolwork and skills we learn in the field, and they do the same so we can all be smarter and safer at work."
Skylar: "It's nice having someone I know who can help me out when I need it, and show me tips and tricks."

Growing up, both Chad and Tommy report that they were always inclined toward the electrical trade, with Chad stating that he "always had an interest in building things with my hands and watching it all come together" and Tommy acknowledging that "as a kid, electricity always interested me."

The other brothers, however, came to love the electrical trade by experiencing their brothers' passions for it.
Lance: "Honestly, becoming an electrician never crossed my mind before Chad got in. But once he got in and was telling me about it, I knew that's what I wanted to do."
Michael: "My brothers were in [the field] and always talked about how great it was, and as I learned and worked more, I couldn't see myself doing anything else."
Tyson: "My oldest brother was happy and successful as an electrician, and I wanted what he had, so I joined up."
Skylar: "Seeing how well all my brothers had done made me want to have this as my career."

If you're thinking that the Grissom brothers' situations are unique, they simultaneously are and are not.

According to a 2016 Facebook research study which analyzed the profiles of 2.37 million same-gender siblings - all of whom were no more than two years apart in age - in the United States, 15 percent of siblings share an occupation, in contrast to an 8.6 percent likelihood of sharing the same occupation for any two same-gender, same-age individuals in the rest of the population.

Fifteen percent isn't a high rate of occurrence, when you factor into consideration the population of the United States in 2016, the year the study was conducted - 323.4 million - and assume that this phenomenon would repeat itself similarly in a non-Facebook-sanctioned study. But it's not extremely uncommon, either.

That doesn't make the Grissom brothers' story any less extraordinary, though.

Read on for more about each Grissom brothers' unique experience with WECA's Riverside Commercial Electrical apprenticeship.