Electrical program helps students explore career options

Published 1:50 pm Monday, September 13, 2021

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Students in the Electrical and Industrial Maintenance program at LeCroy Career and Technical Center are enjoying preparing for a future career through classroom instruction, field trips and projects.

“As part of the E & I program, students will learn how to use basic tools, test equipment to construct, troubleshoot and maintain standard electrical circuits and systems,” Alfredia Shavers, assistant principal for LeCroy Career Technical Center, said.

Instructor Jerome Mayfield, who has worked for Petty Line Construction and owned the electrical company Current Corners, starts the school year with several weeks of safety training, a focus that continues throughout the program. Each class of the morning and afternoon groups begins with a safety meeting.

“He leads the safety meeting to start off then after a few weeks he begins to let the students lead the safety meetings, just like they would on a job site,” Shavers said. “He guides them as they are doing that.”

Each student in the program will lead a safety meeting.

Students will also have the opportunity to complete the qualifications for the 10-hour OSHA certification card.

Additional certification opportunities through the program include Arc Flash and NCCER Level 1 credentialing.

Students start the program as juniors in high school.

Kenan Swanson of Maplesville High School said he was interested in the program because “we use electricity all day every day, and it would be a good trade to get into.”

As a senior, this is Swanson’s second year in the program. He has enjoyed learning about residential electrical work.

“I like dealing with wiring houses and … doing lineman stuff,” he said.

Students had the opportunity to put their skills to work on a community project last school year by wiring a nearby house during a renovation.

“Right now, all we have to do is put the outlets in and the boxes, so they can actually have power running to the house,” Swanson said.

He said he has also enjoyed learning about electrical on the industrial side.

“It is kind of frustrating at first because you are dealing with more little wires and running it from point A to point B and trying to figure out how to get the buttons and every little object … to function,” Swanson said.

After graduation, Swanson plans on studying engineering or attending lineman college and eventually work for Alabama Power or Pike Electric.

Chris Lambert, a junior at Maplesville High School, said he became interested in a career in the electrical field after seeing how important electrical workers were in storm recovery and how it was a crucial field even during the pandemic.

“I noticed electrical … is a mandatory job, so I would be guaranteed work no matter the circumstance, if I got on with a good company … I would make a good living, but not only that, I would be looking out for my family as well later on by having a guaranteed job and good benefits,” Lambert said.

So far, Lambert has been focused on learning the symbols related to safety and working with small motors.

Timothy Payton, a junior at Maplesville High School, applied to the program after learning it had a focus on safety and hands-on projects and could lead to good job opportunities. He is especially interested in a career in industrial electrical.

On-the-job opportunities are available to students.

“Businesses within the community often seek out Career Tech send year Electrical and Industrial students for employment opportunities,” Shavers said. “Students who have completed the program are employed at various businesses throughout our area as well as Birmingham and Montgomery.”

Although field trips have been limited during the pandemic, the class did get to visit West Fraser last year to see industrial maintenance in action. This school year, the program hopes to visit Boise Cascade, West Fraser and Hyundai.