Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

Already Belong? Login

Vasko Electric and Apprentice Derek Benson: Green Energy Projects in the Electrical Industry

Derek Benson, WECA Apprentice, Works on Green Energy Projects with Vasko Electric

Current trends in the electrical industry indicate strong movement toward the implementation of green technologies in the field. Energy efficiency for future generations is of utmost importance to contractors like WECA Member Vasko Electric--  one company leading the way in such endeavors with their green energy projects.

Jay Taylor is field Superintendent for Vasko Electric. He monitors the quality of manpower and installation on each project. He is "the eyes and ears" for the management team, foreman, and project manager. Incorporating green technologies in the electrical field has both immediate and long-term goals. "We are taking steps forward to make a better place for our children and their children," explains Taylor. "It's exciting to work with new technologies. Green technology continues to develop quickly and each project is different from the last. The entire construction team has to learn a new and more efficient product each time we install a new system," he continues.

Vasko sees the benefits of implementing green technologies in the electrical field and is involved with multiple large-scale green energy projects. "We recently completed two projects with Solar, Cosumnes River College, and the California Highway Patrol in Grass Valley. We are also working on the third Digester. It takes anything biodegradable and turns it into both natural gas and energy sending back into the utility company's grid," discusses Taylor. Vasko's work with green technologies allows their apprentices to receive up-to-date training in the field while working on such projects.

Second year WECA Apprentice Derek Benson currently works on projects that use green technologies at Vasko. Derek's first experience working with green energy involved installing solar panels and learning how the photovoltaic system functions. "They placed me on a green energy project to gain knowledge for the future," explains Benson. He enjoys working with green technologies for the same reasons as Taylor.  "What I like most about working with green energy is knowing that it's conserving energy consumption for future generations and that I'm gaining knowledge for future green energy projects," Benson continues. Vasko's involvement with green energy is helping educate and train electricians for the future by recognizing the need for such ventures in the field.

Both Taylor and Benson mention the importance of educating and training electricians in green technologies to future successes in the field. At WECA, apprentices learn about green energy in the classroom. "While studying at WECA, I've learned that when using solar panels, the energy produced by the sun can be inverted from Direct Current to Alternating Current," explains Benson. In addition, "WECA apprentices are getting education in the classroom to better understand green energy, so they can apply it on the job," says Taylor.

Vasko Electric aims "to continue to work on green energy projects and help promote the knowledge to our employees," Taylor says in closing. "As an electrician, we will see more and more green projects. The first step is to get the basic understanding of what green technology is."

A similar article originally ran on page 9 in the Fourth Quarter Edition of the California Apprenticeship Council Quarterly.