APPRENTICE Spotlight: Michael Curtis, Integrity Electrical Solutions
Powering Success for Customers with Employee Talent & Values-Based Culture
We all know Michael Curtis, right? 2019 IECRM Wire-Off winner and Class of 2019 Salutatorian. But, let’s take a closer look and learn more about him.
At the 2019 Commencement Ceremony in June, Michael addressed his fellow graduates with a few very thought-provoking remarks. “Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity. Opportunity is all around us. Are you prepared?” he asked.
Michael went on to say, “For many people it is difficult to find a career they are proud of. Finding a career you enjoy is even more challenging. Having spent many hours on job sites I can say we are some of the lucky few.”
Before Michael’s electrician career opportunity began with Integrity, he only had a vague idea of what he wanted to do with his life. During his college days, he had aspirations of eventually working in the bio-mechanical field. He had also thought seriously about pursuing a career in chemistry. “However, the electrical field has grabbed my full interest and fills my mind and soul with ambition,” he says. “I’m grateful for my career.”
When Michael is not working, he enjoys being productive with home improvement projects and the outdoors. “I enjoy camping, hiking, and playing sports,” he says. “I enjoy socializing with friends and family…barbequing, playing board games, and trying out different restaurants, breweries and bars. I also enjoy travel and hope to do a lot more in the future. It intrigues me to see how different cities and countries operate in contrast to my own.”
Working at Integrity Electrical Solutions has given him a taste of what it’s like to live your values every day in the work you do. “I’m proud to work at Integrity and the camaraderie and trust among my co-workers spills over into how we serve our customers,” he added.
Currently, Michael is working on remodeling five different Cherry Creek district schools.
“I really enjoyed working on Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, which is a small, American single malt whiskey distiller,” he explains. “It’s located on South Kalamath and very popular. It was a lot of fun to work on this project.” Still in his first year of apprenticeship going into his second, Michael was involved in all phases of designing the main electrical room and installing large gear for the building’s service. “The project was very engaging and educational ,” he says. “It was far from boring and was the project that made me most excited for my future in this career.”
He also learned a great deal working on the Levitt Pavilion in Denver located in Ruby Hill Park and features local talent. “I was the key contributor in building the pipe racks for the entire set of conduit coming out of all five panels in the electric room,” Michael says. “I took pride in making the structure precise and aesthetically pleasing. It was a work of art when it all came together.”
Most Successful Work Habits…
“I believe that work results are in large part a reflection of one’s attitude. If you approach a problem with an attitude of, ‘I’m going to accomplish this task, whatever it takes,’ it is much more likely you will succeed,” he says. “Approaching the same problem with an attitude of, ‘this project is difficult and overwhelming, and I’d be surprised if we can even manage to complete it,’ will likely send you down a path of struggles and failures with less successful results.”
Michael also believes that education is a key part of continuing success and drive. “I personally plan to embrace continuing education at every opportunity, and to pass my experience and learning on to other team members and subordinates,” he notes. “Sharing information will make the people you work with better at their job and will help you solidify what you know and will provide personal growth with new learning opportunities.”
Michael’s parents have always been exceptional role models for him. “My father taught me the importance of family, always supporting and encouraging my brother and me. He also inspired me through his diverse set of skills. He has completed many different home improvement projects – all needing several different skillsets.” Michael explains that his Dad encouraged his education and experience by involving him in several of his projects. His mom taught him the importance of enjoying what you do. “She always encouraged us to do things in life that bring happiness and fulfillment. She taught me to lead by example when she became a falconer and educator and making a unique career out of her passion.”
Educators have been role models and heroes he looks up to as well. “I have had many educators throughout my career and my life. Not all of them are role models, but the ones who really devoted their time to teach inspired me to also pass along the knowledge that I have obtained with passion and devotion.”
IECRM has benefited Michael tremendously. “IECRM has provided me with a very solid understanding of electrical, through hands on practical applications, theory, safety, navigating and following the NEC, and much more,” he explains. “ I really appreciated the competitive aspect of IEC. I recognized there were a lot of benefits for doing well at IEC. This encouraged me to do my best on every assignment, quiz and test.”
The wire-off competition was especially a great incentive for Michael as a top student. “For me, this competition was fun and provided the opportunity to represent my company, Integrity Electrical Solutions,” he says proudly. “I also won some excellent trade tools and prizes and the hard work I put into this competition resulted in my opportunity to travel to St. Louis, Missouri to compete at the national level. I’m very excited for this next-level challenge and plan to do my best to keep the trophy where it belongs–with IECRM!”
Words of Inspiration for Colleagues, Apprentices and Co-Workers…
“Never stop learning! The amount of information we have available to us is only getting larger,” he says. “Electricity is a vital component of society’s infrastructure, innovation and technology. The preservation and the betterment of society relies greatly on the electricians of today and tomorrow. With expanding cultures and populations, the more we know and apply to our surroundings the better our future will be.”