2023 WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Brian Morita had double the inspiration to pursue an electrical career, and credits his father (a former PG&E lineman) and his in-laws (owners of WECA Member Contractor Knights’ Electric) with sparking his interest.
“My dad taught me a lot of stuff about electrical when I was growing up, when we would work on the house together. But I never really thought about seeking it out as a career until after I met my in-laws,” says Brian. “I liked the fact that the commercial electrical industry was something new, and I was looking for something to challenge myself.”
As a Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA, Brian appreciated that WECA held daytime classes for two weeks every semester (as opposed to the more traditional nighttime class every week model that other apprenticeships follow) and that his employer paid for his apprenticeship education in its entirety.
“It’s great to not have to go to school at night every week, and to just be with my family after work. WECA’s model gave me a lot more time with my family. The financial aspect is also good because my employer sponsored my apprenticeship – I’ve gotten five years of education and didn’t have to pay anything for it. No debt for school; it’s a good thing for me,” says Brian.
While at WECA, Brian enjoyed learning about motor controls and code questions, and credits his motor controls course with helping him navigate the codebook with ease. Additionally, he found a favorite instructor in Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager Jimmie Slemp, who was a “funny guy” who “lightened the mood a bit and made learning entertaining for us.”
Outside of the classroom, Brian’s favorite work project during his apprenticeship was working with employer Knights’ Electric on a water treatment plant for a rock quarry.
“It was a lot of fun to see from the beginning to the end,” says Brian. “It was the first big project that I got to be on, and I got to do some really cool, challenging pipe runs on that one. Even today, when I drive by regularly, I look up the hill and remember it. I’m proud of that pipe run we did.”
The pride in his work continues to this day. Now that he has graduated, Brian plans to keep learning the ins and outs of his journeyman electrician role with Knights’ Electric, and someday endeavors to manage projects and more.
Speaking of pride, Brian implores current and future apprentices to “Come in prepared and have determination. It’s not all easy – it’s a challenge – and you have to work through it. Take pride in your workmanship, and in what you do when you come to class. The program is challenging, but everyone can get through it. You have to have determination and grit and keep pushing forward.”
Congratulations on your graduation, Brian! We are proud of your hard work and dedication to your family and look forward to seeing what you continue to achieve with Knights’ Electric in the years to come.