A residential work site inside a classroom at Eli Whitney Technical High School.
Electrical is just one of the eleven tech programs students can enter.
It’s like walking onto a real jobsite.
“So, this started off as a blank wall, so this was all installed by the students here. Yeah, they’ve done it all, absolutely,” said electrical department head Mike Siefker.
For students like Josh Haaga, being an electrician runs in the family.
“I’ve gone in to work with my dad. He’s done building housing, checking meters for UI. He’s done just about everything,” said Haaga.
These high schoolers get taught just about everything, too.
“They designed it and installed it. Now, they are learning how to wire it,” said Siefker.
It’s not easy, but that’s what drew Javier Moye in.
“It’s more challenging, you got to know what you are doing. If not, you’re dead. There’s more opportunities when you graduate,” said Siefker.
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Teacher and department head Mike Siefker gets calls quite a bit looking for good team members.
“Electric boat, UI works with us. Eversource. We are trying to get kids into lineman training school so there are a lot of opportunities,” said Siefker.
The time in school can be put towards an apprenticeship.
Once in, the salary ceiling is high.
“I tell them, you are going to work your butt off, but you’re going to make 80 to 100K with a little OT,” said Siefker.
The phone is ringing.
“We have contractors calling us asking us to hire upon graduation,” said Siefker.
When students like Marco Flores do answer the call, they’ll be prepared.
Not just with skills, but the right attitude.
“The teacher, Mr. Siefker, he tells us how to work at jobs. Not just about the stuff. How to behave, how to be a good employee. Showing up on time, uniform, all that stuff,” said Siefker.