What did you learn from your apprenticeship that you didn’t learn in school? A lot.

This answer from one of this year’s graduating apprentices is simple, but when it comes down to it, it’s an accurate one. How do you fit four years’ worth of education into one sentence? We asked our apprentices to try by sharing about their experiences with Ennis Electric.

Our students talked about the importance of hands-on training, saying:

If you ever become a project manager or move up, then you will know what it’s like to be in the field. Hands-on experience helps to tie in the knowledge that you gain from class. [The apprenticeship] gives you perspective, allows you to understand the kind of things that happen in the field—why this way would work and this way would not.

Days and Nights as an Apprentice

Ennis Electric apprentices work through the Independent Electrical Contractor apprenticeship program, spending countless hours in the classroom and participating in vigorous on-the-job training sessions. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training recognizes this comprehensive program, which requires the participants to complete 640 hours of classroom instruction and a minimum of 8,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Students work hard during the day, often studying at night. From becoming more familiar with reading prints to becoming excellent pipe benders and learning how to install “just about everything,” our apprentices learned a lot during their training.

This year’s apprentices provided many reasons for pursuing an apprenticeship with Ennis Electric. While the reasons differed, we’re sure of one thing—we’re glad they joined our team. This year, six Ennis Electric apprentices graduated during the May 20 ceremony. Gustavo Gonzalez, Jerome Jones, Donald Lail, Rodrigo Otoya, Reuben Smith and Joey Zappia all completed the program.

As for takeaways from the program, they shared a few lessons:

 Remember that you’re learning—try not to be so hard on yourself. Appreciate your growth.

Ask questions if you’re unsure about something. Show up on time, every single day.

[The apprenticeship is] good for experience—have a plan to keep progressing.

Be patient and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

From the first days on the job to graduating, our apprentices have worked hard every day. Their goals now include becoming well-respected electricians at Ennis Electric, continuing to learn, taking classes at NOVA in the fall, and earning a journeyman card and master’s license. Our goal is to launch our apprentices into promising careers in the construction industry—and we know each of these students is ready to do so. We’re proud of our hard-working graduates and wish them the best in their future endeavors.