On June 10th, 108 electrical apprentices graduated from the Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain (IECRM) Four-Year Electrical Apprentice Program in a special graduation ceremony at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. A large audience of more than 600 guests including family members, friends, spouses, instructors, and employers came out to celebrate their graduate(s). IECRM is the largest IEC electrical apprenticeship training program in the country.
Graduation awards and student gifts were given out to each graduate and the top students of each school year. The gifts consisted of tools, tool bags, hard hats, and gift cards to The Home Depot. The gifts were generously donated by IECRM industry partners: IDEAL Industries, Legrand North America, and Milwaukee Tool. 1st Electric Contractors of Lakewood sponsored the special venue.
The ceremony was presided over by Pete Farreny, COO of Weifield Group Contracting and president of the IECRM Board of Directors. The keynote address was delivered by Jim Dent, Pre-Construction Director at Weifield Group Electrical Contracting. In his remarks, Dent commented, “Electricians are, in my opinion, the cream of the crop of the craftsman world…there will always be a need for men and women capable of repairing or replacing broken or obsolete equipment…our job is getting more complicated every year. Continuing education is now, and will continue to be, critical to your success.”
Dent also told the graduates that as they now move forward to obtain for the Journeyman’s license in Colorado, they will be able to continue lifelong learning through IECRM, earn a living wage and upward financial advancement in their jobs, and enjoy a steady and fulfilling career. He emphasized the accomplishment in life that graduation represents, but also urged the graduates to create a plan for the next phase of their lives and careers by pursuing excellence in their craft, understanding that respect must be earned, and doing their best every day.
Emphasizing IECRM’s commitment to apprenticeship, CEO Marilyn Akers Stansbury congratulated the graduates and thanked the graduation ceremony sponsors for their financial support and gifts of tools and equipment to the Class of 2017. She also urged graduates to “continue your education through taking the state Journeyman exam…and participate in IECRM’s ongoing professional development,” she said. “This milestone today signifies both your current achievement and your foundation for continuous lifelong learning.”
This year’s Salutatorian was Gabriel DiGiacomo, an electrician at Namaste Solar, who said, “I’m very excited to be graduating, but I know we are never done learning…we get out of school what we put into it. I think that is true, but I am still grateful for the mentors I’ve had along the way…they had a passion for their craft and it rubbed off a bit on me.”
Class of 2017 Valedictorian, Paul Douglas of Hi-Tech Electric, remarked, “We’re the largest graduating class ever.” And quoting teacher, Chris Shipp, Douglas said, “’There’s a light at the end of the tunnel because you installed it.’ Today, my friends, 108 lights have been installed into the electrical industry in Denver…Today marks the beginning of new opportunity.”
The graduation ceremony also was an occasion to recognize IECRM instructors and staff for achieving years-of-service milestones and other achievements:
Instructor Jim Hamilton – 15 Years of Service
Instructor Jeff Magee – 2017 Instructor of the Year
Employee and IECRM Training Manager, Annette Gauna – 20 Years of Service
Each graduate received a certificate of completion from the IECRM 4-year Apprentice Program; a certificate of Completion and Transcript from Emily Griffith Technical College recognizing completion of up to 42 hours of transferrable college credit; an IEC National Certificate of Achievement; and certain students will receive certificates of completion from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship and Training for meeting the standards and requirements prescribed by the U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship.