Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

Already Belong? Login

Recap: WECA Attends 2024 State Workforce Summit in Arizona

Thursday, June 13, 2024


WECA recently attended the 2024 State Workforce Summit in Flagstaff, Arizona. We joined over 200 workforce and economic development professionals as they celebrated their victories in the field and worked through opportunities presented to continue to improve workforce and economic development in Arizona.

WECA was also delighted to be joined by Solei Donahue, a first-year Commercial Electrical apprentice with WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins. Solei, who is a Native American woman from the Gila River Indian community located in the Arizona town of Sacaton, recently joined the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program through WECA and Corbins' partnership with Grand Canyon University's pre-apprenticeship program, which is funded by local workforce funds allowing young men and women to gain a solid footing in the electrical trade. Below is an excerpt of the inspiring speech she gave during the first day of the event.

"Skoug-sialik...or in English, good morning. I joined Corbins through a fifteen-week internship program at Grand Canyon University. For me, this opportunity came spontaneously while we were meeting with a counselor for my brother. Joy, the woman who opened so many doors for me, was just making small talk when she asked what my plans were after graduating high school. Like most kids freshly out of high school, I had no idea. I just told her I'll try different internships and see what I really like. She then went on to tell me about the Center of Workforce's internship, and told me how I could become an apprentice electrician by the end of the year.

I decided it would be good to have experience on my resume, and it would be useful for the future. But I knew once the second semester had started, that this was something I was interested in doing for the rest of my life.

Not only did the internship encourage me to pursue the career of an electrician, it gave me the confidence to keep pushing myself to stand for all the women in the workforce, including young women in my community out there who think joining a trade is scary.

Not only has this internship provided me with a successful career path, it has also aided me as a young girl in becoming a mature adult who is succeeding at life, in general. This program has given me all of the tools and will continue to help me on my journey to becoming a future successful journeywoman.

Ma'sapo...thank you again for this amazing opportunity!"

The 2024 State Workforce Summit for Arizona was amazing, and we look forward to the opportunities and learning that next year's event will bring! As Heath Anderson, WECA Arizona's Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist, opines, apprenticeship has moved back to center stage in workforce development as many look for quality upskilling methods for developing talent. WECA looks forward to continuing to educate the workforce and economic development communities in Arizona and beyond on the amazing benefits of WECA's electrical apprenticeship programs.