As we celebrate Labor Day this year we are pleased to pause and recognize just one corner of our devoted CD & Power team – our apprentices. Back in 2021 we announced that our apprenticeship program had been approved by the California Department of Industrial relations. Since then our managers and administrative staff members have been busy making training materials available to our apprentices, our experienced faculty have conducted numerous in-person training sessions, and we have recorded dozens of training videos to reinforce learning.
Our Master Generator Technician program consists of almost 600 hours of instruction and training over a four-year period! Participants learn through a mixture of hands-on training, in-house developed coursework, Industry-recognized material such as the 5th edition of EGSA’s Onsite Power Generation, and training courses offered by equipment partners such as Isuzu, John Deere, and Cummins.
Topics range from safety to electrical systems to engine maintenance and ATS programming. From our understanding there is still no equivalent in our industry.
For an apprentice to progress, he or she must track their efforts, receive confirmation of their achievements from a journeyman technician, and score a grade of 80% or higher on exams administered at three key milestones within the program.
What’s Happening Now
We currently have 10 apprentices at some stage in the apprenticeship program. Interestingly, they come with a wide range of experience from brand new to the industry to some of our team that have been here for a few years. More experienced members appreciate the opportunity to formalize their training and earn a valuable confirmation of their skills.
Those who are newer to the industry and CD & Power like that there is a formalized path to follow and an abundance of material to guide their development.
We recently took a moment to check in with our latest group of apprentices. Here is what they had to say.
Why did you decide to participate in the apprenticeship program?
Almost all of them expressed an interest in becoming a more skilled technician so they could provide better service to customers. Advancing their career was also shared as a motivator.
What has been the most surprising part of the experience so far?
We received more varied responses, including.
The most surprising part of the experience so far would be how much I actually enjoy learning these topics and generators, how they work and how they coincide with electricity.
How fast we progress through the apprenticeship program.
How manufacturers engineer their equipment differently to achieve similar results.
How much some of the courses have actually taught me vs the hands-on work. I’m used to learning hands-on, but am surprised with some of the courses.
There was near perfect alignment on the fact that the program is at least somewhat harder than they expected. That difficulty seems to be welcome, however. We’re making sure that we support our apprentices and celebrate their commitment to their craft!
Apprenticeship Program Milestones
- Nine currently in the program – a few of whom are past the first year of requirements
- Three of our more experienced technicians have used the program to confirm their knowledge and complete their certification – including EGSA certification!
We’re grateful for the dedication of our apprentices, the journeyman technicians who are mentoring them, and the administrative staff who are working so hard to make the apprenticeship program run smoothly. Thank you!