Science & Technology

USU Eastern Gains Leader for Electrical Apprentice Program

By Shelby Ruud Jarman |

For the first time, the largest program at Utah State University Eastern has a full-time faculty member to guide the program and students to growth and success.

Andy Jones was recently hired to lead the USU Eastern electrical apprenticeship program. As an adjunct professor, he has been teaching at USU Eastern for five years, after establishing himself as a successful electrician in the region.

“I feel like I can bring a lot to the table,” Jones said. “I relate with students and apprentices, and several of my students have worked side-by-side with me over the years. I have learned a lot through my experiences of 27 years in the field. Hopefully, I can help students become even better electricians than I have been. That's my goal.

USU Eastern’s electrical apprenticeship program serves students working as apprentice electricians to advance their skills and knowledge to become journeyman electricians. The course provides all the classroom and lab experience necessary to advance from apprentice to journeyman in four years. Students gain experience in electrical theory, the National Electrical Code (NEC), and practical applications of their work.

Working in the electrical trade is an excellent option for people seeking a career with high demand and steady employment, according to Jones.

“I'm obviously going to be biased toward the electrical trade, but any kind of trade work is going to be a stable career,” Jones said. “And you can call your own shots when you get to a certain point. If you've made yourself knowledgeable and valuable, man, the sky’s the limit on where you can go.”

Electricians are needed all over the world, but there are plenty of opportunities close to home, Jones added. He has spent his whole life in Southeastern Utah and has a strong love for the area and being part of a thriving local community of successful tradespeople.

Brian Warnick, head of USU’s Department of Technology, Design, and Technical Education, said Jones was hired because of his wealth of industry experience and his teaching experience and community ties.

“We feel very fortunate to have Andy Jones join our department as a full-time faculty member,” Warnick said. “Andy has strong connections in the community, which is providing our students with outstanding opportunities to gain experience while they are working in the industry.”

Jones plans to expand and improve the USU electrical apprentice program in order to meet the increasing demand for electricians. He is working to establish new hands-on labs and training modules that will equip apprentices with practical skills and abilities.

“I'm here to grow the program,” Jones said. “We’re going to include as many things as we can realistically do in classes to help prepare students to tackle the things that they're actually going to see in the real world.”

Jones hopes to be a reliable source of knowledge and stability for students while providing local contractors in the area with the best quality apprentices to help their businesses succeed.

“For me, it's all about the apprentices and their learning,” Jones said. “This might be an avenue for them to fulfill their dreams. I’m not doing this for me, not even close. I just like being a part of someone’s journey and being able to contribute to their success in this trade.

Click here to learn more about the electrical apprenticeship program at USU Eastern.

WRITER

Shelby Ruud Jarman
Writer
College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
208-705-2282
shelby.ruud@usu.edu

CONTACT

Andy Jones
Adjunct Professor
USU Eastern
andy.jones@usu.edu


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