Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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WECA Graduate Brian Alston Finds Electrician Apprenticeship the Ideal Transition from the Military to Civilian Business Ownership

Brian Alston at WECA Commercial Electrician Apprenticeship Graduation, Class of 2011.

When Brian Alston’s contract with the Marines was up, he knew what he wanted next for his career. Returning to his long-held desire to be an electrician, he became an indentured apprentice for Bergelectric Corporation, and chose WECA’s Commercial Electrician Apprenticeship program for its convenient “two weeks, twice a year” classroom format.

Brian was a successful apprentice, passing the entry exams “with flying colors” and completing the five year program at WECA’s San Diego Training Facility while continually employed with Bergelectric. Of WECA’s electrician apprentice coursework, he says he most enjoyed the hands-on labs, particularly being able to “experiment with different ways that may or may not work, being able to ask why it didn’t work. I think that taught me more than learning from the book.” Brian’s inquisitive nature and eagerness for experience also led him to participate in related volunteer projects. He joined WECA students and instructors on a project to rebuild the electrical service in the main structure at the San Diego Boy Scouts' camp known as the Mataguay Scout Ranch, which had previously been damaged by wildfire. “I love helping people,” he explains. “I am always looking for opportunities to help others even if it costs me a little time, money or sweat.” 

Brian thrived at Bergelectric, and says that the company serves to this day as his model for how an electrical company should be run. “They taught me so much I wouldn’t be able to tell you it all with one page,” he says. The best way to run an electrical company is of particular interest to Brian. Since graduating from WECA’s Commercial Electrician Apprenticeship program, Class of ’11, he has acquired his C-10 Contractor’s License and started his own company, “My Electrician Inc.”

Brian’s new company is doing well and he has plans for its future growth, applying the same drive, inquisitiveness, and problem-solving ethos to his new endeavor that he evidenced as an apprentice electrician. “WECA taught me a very valuable lesson in addition to the curriculum,” he explains. “Concentrate more upon how and where to find the answer rather than the answer itself. How and where to find the answers are always consistent but the answers themselves change constantly. That has applied to my progress and made it so obtainable.” As he works to grow his own company, Brian plans to always keep in mind this philosophy he learned as an apprentice. “I plan to stay motivated, keep asking questions, keep on making progress, and keep on seeking wisdom from those who have already been through this experience,” he says.

Brian was also featured on page 10 of the CAC Apprenticeship Second Quarter 2012 Newsletter: http://www.dir.ca.gov/CAC/ReportsPublications/CACNewsletter2ndQuarter2012.pdf

Has Brian's story gotten you interested in becoming a Commercial Apprentice too? Learn more about WECA's Commercial Apprenticeship Program and how to apply HERE