WECA Alumni Windell Pascascio, Jr., (left) poses with Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, Wendy Flanagan (right).
When Windell Pascascio, Jr. was growing up in the Central American country of Belize, he originally aspired to be an architect.
But when Pascascio, Jr. was just 16 years old, he started doing residential electrical work and contributing to projects such as a hydroelectric dam on the border of Belize and Guatemala. And when Pascascio, Jr., moved to the United States later, he set his sights upon WECA's apprenticeship program thanks to the program's structure and philosophy.
"I think that WECA's program is hands-down the best program out there for upcoming electricians," said Pascascio, Jr. "Everyone should know about WECA and what it has to offer because it's the best way to start or continue in the electrical trade."
Pascascio, Jr.'s praise for WECA doesn't end there.
"[Instructors] Zach Wallace and Jimmie Slemp both have a desire to make sure you're learning something before leaving their class, and took extra time to stay behind to teach you if you didn't know something or how to do something," said Pascascio, Jr.
After graduating from WECA's apprenticeship program in 2013, Windell was on a roll. He started his own business (Imperial Electric Service, based in Fresno), became a WECA Member Contractor, and became a member of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce (FMBCC).
"Being part of the FMBCC has been outstanding," said Pascascio, Jr. "They have assisted me from the start, making sure I received all the resources out there that can help my business grow - they have even connected me with a client that has contracted us for over $1 million worth of work this year. And the FMBCC strives to make sure that all cultures and business owners are aware of and educated about the projects and resources out there."
As a business owner, Pascascio, Jr. states that "my greatest joy is being able to accomplish our clients' goals from design to installation. I also strive to provide jobs for those that need someone to give them a chance to learn a trade - especially those that don't realize that they can make a career in the electrical trade."
However, owning a business is not easy.
"Owning my own business has opened my eyes on a whole new level," said Pascascio, Jr. "As a company we have to set our goals to make sure our customers are satisfied and manage each project from start to finish with excellence."
Further, Pascascio, Jr. stresses that "owning your own business isn't an overnight thing - it takes a lot of dedication and hard work. Not only yours, but also your employees' and family's dedication. But don't ever give up, put in the hours every day, and treat your team with respect because a business is not built on the owner - it's built on your employees."
Though Pascascio, Jr. is flying high now, he knows that he would not be where he is now if not for his support group and prior experiences.
"I would like to thank my wife and kids for sticking by my side for all those late nights working," Pascascio, Jr. said. "And I would definitely like to give a shout-out to Rex Moore, because I've only worked for two companies and Rex Moore is a great example of what I would like my company to become in the next five years. I have never seen a company strive like they do to make sure their employees' opinions matter or let them [have input] in making the company better; they have the most outstanding management team that I hope my team will emulate one day."