“I started as an apprentice at the EJTC.”
If you plan to join the electrical trade, James McKenna is the passionate, driven, and incredibly talented instructor you’ll want by your side. Starting as an apprentice at the Electrical Joint Training Committee (EJTC), James began his foundational program in 2014 and completed his apprenticeship in 2018. “Soon after, there was an opening for a temporary instructor at the EJTC. I applied for the position and got it! Part of the reason for that was, despite my lack of experience as a journeyperson, I have a background in electrical engineering.” James’ Bachelor of Science and electrical engineering from Oregon State University has enhanced his grasp on the academic portion of the coursework, making him the perfect person to bring any academic questions to. “That’s what my specialty is. That’s where I spend most of my time, and I am pleased to be focusing on that. I enjoy helping people get through what is, for most, the hardest part of becoming an electrician.”
“My father is an electrician, and my grandfather was an electrician. It’s in my blood to be fascinated by electricity.”
The science behind electricity is what drew James into the electrical trade. “I have always been fascinated by electricity; it’s everywhere. It’s a fascinating force. Understanding the whole process of how electricity works and the science behind how the forces interact is worth diving into. I don’t think someone could truly understand the way society functions mechanically without having a very good understanding of electricity.”
“I believe almost anyone can succeed in the electrical trade.”
“My average day is split between a couple of activities. If I’m teaching, my day is spent helping students understand the material they need to get through the level of technical training they’re taking. Other than that, I am trying to develop a curriculum and sort out ways to deliver the material with the best results in mind. I want to figure out how to overcome some of the hurdles that have been faced in the industry that will allow more people to be successful in this trade.” Driven by his passion, James is a firm believer that almost anyone can succeed in the electrical industry if they are motivated to do so. With a vast knowledge of the trade, James will undoubtedly be there to support and encourage you every step of the way throughout your apprenticeship. James is the instructor to have in your corner while entering the fascinating and powerful world of electricity.
Written by: Savannah Davis, ClearWater Communications Co.