About the Electrical Training Alliance
The Electrical Training Alliance of Jacksonville is a Registered Electrical Apprenticeship that produces the most highly qualified electrical apprentices and journeyworker professionals in the field today. The comprehensive, 5-year program uses a combination of on-the-job learning and classroom instruction to equip students with the knowledge and skills they will need for a successful career upon graduation.
COVID-19 Cancels Formal Graduation
The majority of Miller Electric Company’s journeymen, foremen and superintendents are graduates of the apprenticeship program which allows us to offer our clients the highest level of craftsmanship in the industry. We graduate many from the program each year, and celebrate their accomplishments at an annual graduation ceremony hosted by the Electrical Training Alliance. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the ceremonies for 2020 and 2021 were cancelled to ensure the health and safety of the graduates and their families.
This year alone, Miller Electric graduated over 40 apprentices from the program. To recognize a few of the top performers from the class, we hosted a small ceremony at our corporate headquarters on Wednesday, July 14th.
When Austin Sparkman (apprenticeship instructor and on-the-job supervisor) spoke about Carissa at Wednesday’s ceremony, he used two words to describe her; leadership and determination. While it was no surprise to Austin that Carissa was awarded Apprentice of the Year, he proudly detailed to ceremony attendees Carissa’s ability to own tough situations and the way she refuses to back down from a challenge. He said that her work ethic is contagious and motivating, allowing her to elevate the production of everyone who works around her.
Jack Curtright, a fifth year instructor, echoed Austin’s comments saying he wished every student that came through the program was just like Carissa.
Willie Robinson is a Project Manager in our ICT team, who has worked for Miller Electric for almost 25 years. Clifford Griffin is his brother-in-law and a brand new graduate of the apprenticeship program. Clifford went through the VDV Technology program, which allowed him to work closely with Willie and his team. Clifford said he was grateful for the ICT team and their unique ability to know when he needed help and when to step back and let him learn for himself.
In a proud family moment, Willie spoke about how bright and precise his brother-in-law is and what an asset he will be for their team in the years to come.
Tonia Menard and Jack Patterson
Unfortunately, Tonia and Jack were unable to attend Wednesday’s ceremony. That did not stop them from receiving their fair share of congratulations.
Tonia finished second in the class, following only Carissa. This accomplishment is the first time two women have ever finished number one and number two – a proud moment for the ETA and an even prouder moment for Miller Electric.
Jack was sidelined from the program after an accident, but was able to rejoin and graduate this year. Jack Curtwright played a major role in helping him finish the program and leaders from the ETA and Miller Electric are amazed by Jack’s determination and willingness to finish what he started.
Comments from Leadership Team
When CEO Henry Brown addressed the graduates, he commented on how successful and forward thinking this year’s class is. He said that these four individuals are smart and talented enough to do any job in the world, but they chose a career that will serve them well and help make a difference in our industry.
Alan Jones, a trustee of the ETA who has served for over 30 years, said that it is so important to take advantage of every learning opportunity you can get, and that these four graduates had done just that.
In the final words of the day, Chief Construction Officer, Ed Witt Jr., spoke about the challenges that many students face after graduation like student debt and finding a job. He was proud to announce that these graduates will not face those challenges. Not only do they have a job, they are now well equipped for a career and do not owe a single dime.
If you are interested in the Electrical Training Alliance Apprenticeship, you can learn more on their website: http://www.etajax.org/home.html
You can also check out this video about the program on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4iRCxu6aWfY