Thursday, August 31, 2023
WECA Apprenticeship Instructor Donald Williams, based at our San Diego Training Facility, was born in San Diego but moved to Texas until he was 5. Then he and his family moved back and he’s been here ever since.
Donald got interested in the electrical field just from doing research on the trades—he says he needed something that would pay the bills, because college wasn’t for him. In his research, he found that electricians are very sought after; that they are the first ones on the jobsite and one of the last to leave.
Donald was hired by Bergelectric in 2015 and they registered him in WECA’s apprenticeship program shortly thereafter. He was with them through the majority of his apprenticeship. With Berg, he led work, became an estimator, and then became a project engineer (PE), all while still an apprentice. Bergelectric earned the CalOsha Golden State Award on an airport job on which Donald was a PE.
He graduated from WECA’s Commercial Electrical apprenticeship program as its Southern California valedictorian and became a certified journeyperson; working for a few years as an electrician at SeaWorld. There he was a safety trainer and safety liaison as well. He also began teaching for WECA’s Get Wired program shortly after becoming a journeyperson. “I found out I loved teaching when I became a scuba instructor before ever getting into the trade. My ultimate goal was to become a fulltime WECA apprenticeship instructor, so when I saw the job opening, I applied. Needless to say, it went well, so here I am. I specialize in motors, troubleshooting, and Code,” says Donald.
Additionally, he says "I feel that training is important because out in the field you never hear why we do things. It’s always 'do this or that because your boss or the prints say so.' The training gives students a chance to learn why they are doing it that way; why the engineer designed it that way.”
His primary teaching philosophies are:
‘When one teaches, two learn.’ –Robert Heinlein
‘A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.’ –Thomas Carruthers