July 2, 2021

IECRM Graduated its Largest Class of Apprentices Ever

Nearly 100% Employed with No College Debt

On Saturday, June 5th, a special graduation ceremony was held to honor the record-breaking 213 apprentices graduating from IECRM’s 4-Year Electrical Apprentice Training Program. Most pandemic restrictions were lifted just in time for the big event. Students were able to graduate in person at the Westin Westminster in the presence of their friends, families, instructors, and supporting companies. The event was live-streamed for those that could not attend in person. Click here to view photos of the event.

Jay Commuso, Outside Sales for I-Pro, Inc., known by graduates as the Exothermic Welding and Compression Systems Instructor, welcomed guests to the ceremony and offered a piece of advice to the graduates as they move forward in their career paths. “Giving pays well! The fastest, most direct path to wealth and being well is working smart and giving your time. Our community, industry, businesses, families, and you count on this to succeed and remain healthy. My invitation to each one of you is to give back. It is up to each one of you to find out where and how,” said Commuso.

Rob Watkins, President of the IECRM Board of Directors and President of Ludvik Electric took to the podium and shared his seasoned knowledge for the soon to be licensed electricians in the field. “Graduating from an Apprentice to a Journeyman is a rite of passage. It took a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication to this trade to be here today. I am honored to have the opportunity to celebrate this rite of passage with you. Over the years I have found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. NOTHING! Every failed experiment is one step closer to success, you have to take the risk. Fall forward means taking chances and when we fail, we learn from the fall and rise stronger than we were before,” Walkins shared.

Janet Martin, IEC National Board President, owner of Bret’s Electric, and long-time member of IECRM, gave the keynote address. “There will always be a need for men and women who build and energize. There will always be a need for men and women capable of powering up and bringing infrastructure to life. There always will be a place for you! Technology changes occur every day and you’ve got to keep up. Pure pragmatism can’t imagine a bold future. Pure idealism can’t get anything done. It is the delicate blend of both that drives innovation.”

Annette Gauna, IECRM Training Manager, recognized IECRM’s instructors for milestones and achievements. “Being an IECRM Instructor is no easy task and takes up an immense amount of time and preparation for each class lesson. Our Instructors are the ‘front line’ for the IECRM Apprenticeship Training program and we certainly could not do it without them,” said Gauna.

The following instructors have been teaching for 5 years at IECRM:

  • Jake Crossley – 1st and 2nd Year Instructor
  • Stevenson Deshommes – 1st Year Instructor
  • Ken Haack – 1st Year Instructor
  • Chris Hoag- 1st Year Instructor
  • David Kohler -1st and 2nd Year Instructor
  • Kevin Padilla – 1st Year Instructor
  • Scott Sorensen – 2016’s IEC National Wire-Off Champion – 3rd and 4th Year Instructor

10 years:
Brian Slota

20 Years:
Joe Tate

Instructor of the Year:

Paul Shelley

“Paul is the epitome of a Class A instructor. He leads by example and continually demonstrates a commitment to helping others, while also providing clear, concise, and inspirational instruction to his students. Paul is always willing to help with apprenticeship class coverage, continuing education instruction and assisting other instructors who are in need,” said Gauna. Recipients are nominated for this award by their instructor peers.


Paul Lingo, IECRM Training Director, took to the stage to recognize the Graduates that competed in the 2021 Wire-Off Competition – the national competition qualifier and the 4th-Year Top Students.



Wire-Off Competition Winners:

  • 1st Place Wire-Off Winner: Evan Nash – Piper Electric Co., Inc.
  • 2nd Place: “Henry” Enrique Viadal Rameriz Jr.  – Kenny Electric 
  • 3rd Place: David Moore – Weifield Group Electrical Contracting

“Evan will be competing against the other IEC National Wire-Off Winners from across the United States for IEC National’s Apprentice of the Year Competition at the IEC National Convention right here in Denver – our own backyard – this October. Congratulations on your achievement. We look forward to you representing IEC Rocky Mountain in the national competition!” said Lingo. 

4th-Year Top Students

  • Dustin Gold, Wayne’s Electric, Inc.
  • Matthew LeBlanc, Encore Electric, Inc.
  • Richard McCormick, J&R Electric
  • William Hutchison, Kenny Electric
  • Enrique Viadal Ramirez Jr, Kenny Electric
  • Matthew Atchley, ADK Electric Corp.
  • Ross Levine, Productive Electric, LLC

The IECRM 2021 Salutatorian and Valedictorian, who have held the highest Cumulative GPA throughout their 4 years of apprenticeship, were asked to speak to their graduating class during the ceremony and both accepted the challenge. Highlights from their speeches are below.

Salutatorian Address – Noe Flores, Integrity Electrical Solutions, LLC
“At the end of the day, what is going to help you look at your work with pride? What is going to help you get out of bed in the dark of night or the cold of winter and head to that jobsite? What is going to motivate us when we find ourselves in a rut or grind? The bigger picture will. Whatever your tradition or belief system may be, know that the work that you do matters and leaves a lasting impact for many to come,” shared Flores.

Valedictorian Address – Enrique Viadal Ramirez, Jr.,   Kenny Electric
“Doesn’t it feel great knowing that no matter what life handed you, you endured and achieved your goal? Many of us have already attained a state license or moved into a role of leadership. With these triumphs, we have shown our families, friends, and ourselves that we can achieve great things,” said Ramirez.

In closing Paul Lingo, IECRM Training Director and Marilyn Akers Stansbury addressed the graduating class. Snippets of their remarks are below.

“Though the road of apprenticeship is now ending, your journey as a SKILLED ELECTRICAL TRADESMAN has  just now begun. Encourage others to move forward in their career so that we can ensure our next generation electrician has a destination and path for success. Remember that POWER IN  is POWER OUT and from the famous words of Mr. Chris Shipp, ‘That light at the end of the tunnel is there because YOU Installed it there.’”

Marilyn concluded with, “As Alumni, you are our Ambassadors and representatives of the industry. Use your experience to be a mentor, recruit your peers to join the industry, apply to be part of our Emerging Leaders program and serve on the committees of IEC.”

IECRM’s valued partners: 

  • Emily Griffith Technical College representing the Apprenticeship Team is Diane Hanson. 
  • Patrina Walker representing the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship.
  • Education partner CSU Global

A special sponsorship thank you: 

  • Milwaukee and IDEAL for tools and gifts for the graduates and for their generous support of IEC and the entire industry throughout the year! 
  • The Home Depot for sponsoring the printed programs.
  • CSU Global for sponsoring the generous breakfast for all guests and graduates in attendance.

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 transferable college credit toward an associate degree at a Colorado community college and up to 53 credits toward a bachelor degree with CSU Global; an IEC National Certificate of Achievement; and certain students received 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 Program.

Click here to view photos of the event.