Chapter Corner

Presenting Opportunities

Posted in: President's Message, April 2014

At a very young age our education system begins prepping students for their future careers. Early education provides basic skills and knowledge while also framing a child’s future. As students reach high school, they begin selecting their own classes that are geared to their interests and strengths.

I remember taking Accelerated English at Penn Hills Senior High, minutes outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, only because I was a decent writer — not thinking the impact it could have on my career. It was not until a few years later that the interest in writing developed into part of my pursuit of a profession. As I mentioned in the March issue of Insights “From the Editor’s Desk,” I was exposed to this career path and all that it offers.

An accurate visualization of a vast array of careers is important at a young age. I remember taking metal shop, photography, video production, and other similar classes during my time at Penn Hills. In addition, the school offered vocational technical classes such as auto body, building trades, and graphic arts. The career path I was on required a college degree, however I had many classmates who each were on a different path that would draw them to apprenticeship programs. The path led to a great career in fields that best suited the individual students’ skills and interests.

Often, people do not realize what career suits them until they have the opportunity to try different classes and skills on for size. Just as we all don’t like the same movies, foods, or music, each person’s career path is a highly personal selection. Providing a variety of options of careers ensures that each person can find their best fit. Not everyone’s career starts with a college degree — some of the best careers start with an apprentice program or military service.

Read more about high school students being exposed to the trades and IEC’s apprenticeship program on page 26. This clever partnership between IEC San Antonio and MacArthur High School gives students a head start on their career by starting early. Learn more about how military service can provide skills useful in the electrical contracting industry on page 18. However individuals make it into the electrical contracting industry, everyone working together is what makes this industry great.

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