Tuesday, November 28, 2023
WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprentice Teal LeBeau’s path to WECA Apprenticeship was slightly unconventional. After serving in the United States Army’s Infantry branch as a specialist team leader and deploying to Iraq twice, Teal began an office job with an electrical engineering firm in 2008 before pivoting to other office jobs with electrical contracting companies over the years.
However, after working in the office for many years, Teal knew that going back into the field – like he was in the Army – was the right call for him.
“Working outside, being in the trenches, is where I am most comfortable,” says Teal.
This led to him enrolling in WECA’s Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program and apprenticing for WECA Member Contactor Cabar Electric.
“As an infantryman, we trained constantly for combat deployments and primarily patrolled and reacted to contact,” says Teal. “I started my apprenticeship later in life, and because of how hard I had to push myself during military service, I knew I could push through the challenges that I face working in electrical construction.”
Though faced with challenges, Teal also enjoys the smaller, unexpected things about working in the commercial electrical industry – like being able to do electrical site work and underground work on venues like ballparks!
Teal reports that his apprenticeship has also offered more intangible rewards, ones that veterans will especially appreciate.
“Apprenticeship offers rewarding and challenging paths like the military offers. For me, it’s the closest thing I have found, as a civilian, that feels like being back in the military. My apprenticeship has helped give back my focus and discipline that drove me in the Army,” says Teal.
Thank you for your service and for being part of the WECA family, Teal! We are happy to read that your WECA apprenticeship feels like a natural fit for you and has given you back the focus and discipline that drove you in the Army. With your background, positive attitude, and determination, we know you will achieve great things with WECA and beyond.