Electrical Contracting is the Greatest Trade to be in!
Neal Woodcock arrived in Colorado in 1987. For several years, he worked in the restaurant industry around the area. When he turned 28, he got a job at Bryant Electric as an apprentice after responding to an ad in the paper to apply at IECRM.
With his employer’s support, Neal enrolled in IECRM’s apprenticeship training program. Eventually, he graduated from the 4-year program, is now a proud alumnus of the school, and has been in electrical contracting for 28 years. He sat for his journeyman’s license in 1996 and then went on to become a Master electrician. “My foreman at Bryant was the best one I have ever had, and I credit him for making me the electrician I am today,” says Neal.
About two years ago, Neal was working as a foreman for Core Electrical in Winter Park when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Six surgeries later, Neal remains disabled, having had his strength and faith tested mightily. “While this illness has taken a toll on who I thought I was and what I am made of,” says Neal. “I love being an electrician and am holding onto my license. For me, it is still quite a thrill to see something I worked on coming alive with power and the lights turning on.” While his disability has sidelined him, Neal holds hope for the future.
Neal has completed the 24 CEUs he needs to renew his license this year through IECRM’s state-approved continuing education program.
Neal’s CEU Experience…
“I started working on completing my CEUs in March, right before the pandemic hit,” he says. “The IECRM curriculum is awesome! They teach as no one else does and they have so many different resources to learn from.”
Neal explains, “Other community colleges offer training, but it’s nothing like the depth and breadth of IECRM. You can always tell who has been through the IECRM program and who has not.”
Most Successful Work Habits…
Neal’s strength is in always being ahead of where he’s supposed to be. “Projecting what’s next on a job,” he says. “Being able to envision what the end result needs to look like and then doing the planning to get there are two skills or work habits that have served me well.”
Being on time and giving anything you do your best effort is something Neal also emphasizes. “Most tradesmen don’t always understand what the boss is experiencing,” says Neal. “It is really important to try and understand the business risks, the investment it takes, and maintain a healthy attitude of gratitude.”
“My real hero is my wife,” Neal says. “We have been through a lot and she has taught me much, through a great deal of her own personal loss and my multiple surgeries. Her strength inspires me and keeps me going. She gives me hope.” He went on to add, “She’s got nerves of steel; she’s my best friend; and I’m still madly in love with her, like never before.”
Neal also gets motivation from his three daughters and his three-year-old granddaughter. “My granddaughter gets me to dance with her which is pretty amazing in my condition.”
Words of Inspiration…
“Being an electrician is the greatest job and career,” says Neal. “God was an electrician first when he created heaven and earth and commanded ‘Let there be light.’”