when i signed up for the program to assist unemployed trades students, i thought it’d be a good way to get some mentorship. to be honest, at first i was hoping they’d spring for my tuition, but i figured it was more likely that i’d get to meet some electricians and do some job shadowing. turns out that i was partly right on my initial guess: the program can’t pay for the basic course in which i’m already enrolled, but what they can do is find the money to pay for any additional training or certification that i could leverage into employment.
originally, i thought i wouldn’t take advantage of this opportunity, because my options seemed limited: once i finish this course, all i really need is an apprenticeship, and that’s pretty much where everyone starts.
but who would have thought? one of my school assignments was to research potential employers, and it turned out to be a crazily useful exercise! i ended up looking at the websites of all these local companies that do solar photovoltaic array installations, which led me to firing off a couple emails asking how an entry-level electrician can develop that specialty, which led to some great advice and more web links.
that’s when i saw the listing for the weekend-long “intro to photovoltaics” course at the college in van, coming up at the beginning of october, with no prerequisites required beyond a knowledge of electrical theory. i don’t have the $315 tuition, yet it’s not that much in the grander scheme of things. a few phonecalls/emails/signatures later, and the program’s agreed to pay for it!
i still have to get myself to the mainland, and stay with friends for the weekend, but regardless: i feel very lucky. i suddenly feel like this electrician thing could be a lot more than a way to earn a living, like i could really get into it for reasons that go beyond the general satisfaction of problem-solving and tool-wielding.