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National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Recap

Abraham Lincoln once said “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” With that in mind we want to recap the five amazing featured Westphal & Company employees and the bright futures they are creating.

Tyler Ripp

What or how did you get interested in a career in construction?
I was in a construction class in high school, and they brought in a guest speaker that discussed the different aspects of construction including working on jobsites instead of sitting in a classroom. That’s what got me interested in a career in construction.
What’s the best part of your job?
The people I get to work with are awesome. Especially working with the other people who work for Westphal & Company and it’s also cool working with the other trades that are on the jobsite.
Biggest takeaway from your apprenticeship?
Always be willing to ask questions about anything. It’s always better to ask for help than trying to solve the problem yourself and making a bigger mistake.
How long have you been with WCO?
Less than year
What advice do you have for someone looking for a career in the trades?
Try to get as much experience as you can early on so if you do want to go into a career you already have the experience and it’ll be easier to get a job.
Where are you looking to go from here?
I am probably going to go for a registered apprenticeship.
Is there anything else you want to tell me?
The work I did in prefab did help me here. Because I learned how to read drawings in prefab and also how to assemble the components that are used on the jobsite.

Seth Replogle

Tell me about your journey into construction. Where did you start and where are you now?
I started at Globalcom Technologies when I was 20 years old and I’ve been working here since then.

What or how did you get interested in a career in construction?
I’ve always enjoyed building and fixing stuff and figuring out how it works.

What’s the best part of your job?
Seeing my finished work go into the completion of a building and my coworkers.

Biggest takeaway from your apprenticeship?
There’s usually multiple solutions for every problem that arises. It’s fun trying to determine which solution will work out the best and most efficiently.

How long have you been with Globalcom Technologies?
I have been with Globalcom Technologies for about 4 years.

What advice do you have for someone looking for a career in the trades?
Start learning about the trades as soon as you can and learn how to adapt to different situations that present themselves.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?
Overthinking and waking up early are two challenges I can think of.

Where are you looking to go from here?
Finish my apprenticeship and work my way up the ladder while learning as much as I can along the way. I look forward to what the future holds.

 

Alvin Tillet

Tell me about your journey into construction. Where did you start and where are you now?
I graduated from high school in 2018 and started as an apprentice with PayneCrest Electric. We were working on the Alliant Riverside power plant in Beloit, WI.  I worked there until 2020 when I started with Westphal & Company. I started out with Westphal as a third-year apprentice and now I am a journeyman/foreman.

What or how did you get interested in a career in construction?
My grandpa owned a general contracting/engineering firm, so I think that got me interested in construction. In high school, I took some electrical building classes that pushed me towards this trade.

What’s the best part of your job?
I like the variety of work that involves electricians. Everything is constantly changing, and you have to be able to adapt.  I also like working with tools and figuring out how things work.

Biggest takeaway from your apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is the perfect way to learn for many people, especially trades. It’s a hands-on type of education. You also get paid to go to school which is a big plus.

How long have you been with Westphal?
4 years of service with Westphal and Company.

What advice do you have for someone looking for a career in the trades?

If you show up every day on time and work hard, there are many people who are very willing to teach you. If you have the chance to learn something new, soak up as much information as you can. The biggest thing is to remain positive and keep an open mind.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?

I think most the challenges are the same things that I enjoy like complicated wiring, problem solving, and working in a fast-paced environment.

Where are you looking to go from here?
I hope to keep working as a foreman and gain experience working in different areas of the electrical trade.

 

Alaraya Holmberg

Tell me about your journey into construction. Where did you start and where are you now?
I started as a CW working at a really big job with a couple hundred electricians. I did some of the most basic work like cleaning and getting familiar with people who work in the field. While I was there, I got accepted into Bigstep which is a program that helps people without a lot of experience in trades. That program gave me the tools I needed to nail my apprenticeship interview.

What or how did you get interested in a career in construction?
I really enjoy a variety of work and a variety of locations and a variety of people. I like a challenge and being able to figure stuff out. Very rarely am I doing the same thing. Electrical work is incredibly useful knowledge in general. I really appreciate having a set of skills not everyone has.

What’s the best part of your job?
You met a lot of characters and meet a lot of people from all walks of life. All different ages, backgrounds, and so much to learn from others. I look forward to meeting new people and seeing what information they have. I love the work, but a lot of it depends on the people you are working with. It’s nice to find a good balance of hard work and working with good people.

Biggest takeaway from your apprenticeship?
It’s really important to find your voice. No one is looking out for your apprenticeship accept for you. If you don’t take care of yourself and your apprenticeship your goals won’t get accomplished. Really figuring out what your voice is and how you interact with people and how you advocate for yourself.

How long have you been with Westphal & Company?
3 years

What advice do you have for someone looking for a career in the trades?
I would say look at what you like doing and see if there’s a correlation between what you are currently doing to what is available in trades. Be analytical and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Be prepared for the job beforehand by getting comfortable with tools and go to the locals and halls to see whose accepting apprentices and so on. Look where the work is and look to see how much work is being done.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?
People underestimate my abilities and what I’m capable of. The hardest thing is not letting that get to me. So, I show up each day ready to prove ‘em wrong.

Where are you looking to go from here?
After I complete my apprenticeship I am looking to keep working and I’d really love something to specialize in. Whether it’s a certain type of work or certain type of jobsites. There’s so much out there when it comes to specializing. The sky is the limit really. Within Westphal itself it’s cool seeing all the opportunities presented.

 

Kaleb Crane

Tell me about your journey into construction. Where did you start and where are you now?

In high school I worked as a shop hand (fancy term for broom handler) for Cupertino electric during the summers. I was fortunate enough to work with the Westphal team during that time and start some of my relationships in the trade at that time. After I left the Marines, I sent an email to Kyle Sutter asking if Westphal had any jobs and started as a construction wireman two days after I moved home. I interviewed for the apprenticeship a couple weeks later and by July I was indentured. I was lucky to work with some stellar leaders during my apprenticeship who allowed me just enough rope to mess up, but always made sure I learned from my mistakes. I currently work as a service electrician with my own van.

What or how did you get interested in a career in construction?
My Dad is an electrician by trade, so he inspired me to get into this trade. I’ve seen firsthand where hard work and determination can get you in life.

What’s the best part of your job?
Never having a ceiling to stop me from being challenged.

Biggest takeaway from your apprenticeship?
Stay humble and know that you can always learn something.

How long have you been with Westphal & Company?
I have been with Westphal for close to 5 years now.

What advice do you have for someone looking for a career in the trades?
Show up every day, on time ready to go. It’s ok to sweat.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?
Understanding that not everything is about how fast you can get it done, craftsmanship matters.

Where are you looking to go from here?
I would like to continue on an upward path in leadership.

 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about the apprenticeship programs we offer please fill out the contact us form here.

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