Lincoln Tech has 22 campuses located throughout the United States, and they have been educating tomorrow’s workforce since 1946. Lincoln Tech trains its students to enter the workforce in the automotive, skilled trades, health sciences, culinary, spa and cosmetology, and information technology career fields. They are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
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Bob Martin: Joining me today on this edition of Imagine America Radio is Karla Dzwonkowski, campus president, Lincoln Tech in New Britain, Connecticut. The topic of today’s episode of Imagine America Radio are the electrician training or electronics careers. As a leading provider of high-quality education and training for electricians, we couldn’t think of anyone better—or any school better—to talk about this than Karla Dzwonkowski and Lincoln Tech.
Karla, thank you. And thank you for joining us today.
Karla Dzwonkowski: Thank you for having me.
Bob: For the benefit of our audience, could you please outline what the career for an electrician is and, more importantly, what do they do on a daily basis?
Karla: Sure. There are so many aspects to what an electrician does in his or her career. When someone thinks of an electrician, the first thing that comes to mind is someone who maintains, installs, and repairs wiring in various electrical systems. While this is definitely part of the job, there are also other aspects that are not as immediately recognizable.
Electricians also work with phone lines, cable lines, and internet installation. Electricians work for companies and facilities to maintain equipment that is necessary to perform essential functions, such as in hospitals or dialysis centers. There are many electrician positions within various kinds of industry that need the service that can keep equipment running efficiently.
Lee Doubleday: Wow, that’s great. Yeah, this is Lee. I’m talking to Karla Dzwonkowski, campus president of Lincoln Tech – New Britain, Connecticut. So, tell me something. And thank you for walking through sort of what an electrician does.
As you said, many of us may think one thing but there’s many different avenues that someone can go down in an electrician or electrical career. So, tell me something. What does the career outlook look like for electricians, maybe both on a national level and then more specifically in Connecticut?
Karla: This is a great time for students to be learning skilled trades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2028 it is projected that there will be a need to hire over 900,000 electricians across the country. In Connecticut alone, job growth is expected to be nearly 10,000 positions for electricians during that time period.
Lee: Wow. Nearly a million electricians across the country and, just in Connecticut alone, 10,000. So, I think this is obviously in high demand. And it seems like something worth getting an education in. So, I have sort of a three-parted question for you. The first question is, should someone go to school to learn how to become an electrician? And the second is, what does a typical program include, a typical electrician program? And the third is, how long is a typical electrician program?
Karla: Okay. This is definitely a great time for students to enter the electrical training program. The coursework gives the student the classroom hours and the fundamental knowledge of theory and code that they will need to be employed in the electrical industry. When enrolling, students will be entering a program that typically will run 12 months during the day and 18 months in the evening.
Lee: Okay. So, it is your opinion that someone definitely needs to go to school to learn how to become an electrician, and now’s the time. That’s what I’m hearing, right?
Lee: Awesome. Okay. Now let’s say I’m a student and I’m interested in becoming an electrician. When I tour a campus that’s offering this program, what are a few things that I should be looking for? Because it seems a program such as this is going to require updated equipment in order to stay relevant in current work environments. Should the equipment that the school uses be something I should be considering? And what else should I be considering? Maybe accreditation or partnerships with employers? I know that’s a big deal.
So, can you give me sort of a checklist on what it is that according to school when looking at an electrician program?
Karla: Sure can. The most important thing to look for in any program you are considering is its accreditation. Lincoln Tech is accredited by ACCSC, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Our curriculum is also approved by the State of Connecticut. These two elements of the program are most important because, without accreditation, it would be extremely difficult—if not impossible—to become certified after completing the program.
In terms of equipment, Lincoln has a robust electrical lab that will give the students the hands-on opportunity that will benefit them in the field. We have a current partnership with Johnson Controls. So students have the opportunity in our lab to learn about alarm systems from a well-known name in the field. We also provide students with real-life practical experiences for both residential and commercial electrical applications, to be prepared for the different opportunities that they will face in the field.
When considering a program, the experience of an instructor in the field is definitely important to consider. Our instructors bring a wealth of experience, in a combined over 100 years, to the program. They consistently share their specialties with the students while teaching them to prepare for the field. As part of the process to become a fully licensed electrician in Connecticut, the students will become apprentices to earn their hours for the state. Our career services department works with many employers and is excellent in helping students find positions that will help them earn these hours. Their education at Lincoln fulfills the state requirements for classroom hours. So once the apprenticeship hours are completed, the students are able to apply for their journeyman’s license.
Bob: Wow. That’s pretty extensive. We’re talking to Karla Dzwonkowski, campus president Lincoln Tech in New Britain, Connecticut. So, tell me—this is Bob Martin again—tell me what you think. You’ve been in school business for a while. You’ve seen students come and go. What do you think, in your opinion, what are the three or four most important personality traits that will lead to a successful Lincoln student—and lead to a successful employee and then to have a successful career? Because I’m thinking, some of your folks are going to be thinking about opening up their own shops.
Karla: Correct. I would say the top three personality traits that make a great electrician are great communication skills, dependability, and the ability to problem-solve. Employers are looking for people who are going to give the job 100% of their effort. So being able to communicate your needs and questions, showing up to work and doing the job assigned, and being able to solve issues that come up—that you have been trained to handle—are essential in the electrical field.
Bob: We’re having a great conversation with Karla Dzwonkowski, campus president Lincoln Tech – New Britain, Connecticut. Here’s my takeaways. Karla, if you don’t mind, just sit—you don’t have to respond. If I miss something just say it.
Here’s what I understand from taking away from this. I understand that electrical jobs or electrician jobs are in very high demand with job opportunities available nationally and regionally. And I think, if I’m not mistaken, you told me the figure of 900,000 nationally and 10,000 available job opportunities in Connecticut. The second thing I heard you say is Lincoln Tech – New Britain, Connecticut, is a leading nationally accredited school, providing education and training needed to fill these jobs right now. You’ve got the ability to help these students right now do that.
Finally, I’m going to ask you, Karla, to please answer and field any questions that we may have from our viewers relative to this particular career or relative to this particular podcast. And they might come from potential students, parents, or guidance counselors. So, if you wouldn’t mind taking a moment and just repeating your contact information—telephone numbers, emails, websites, that sort of thing, please.
Karla: Sure. My email address is email@example.com. My phone number: (860) 225-8641.
Bob: We want to thank today’s guest, Karla Dzwonkowski at Lincoln Tech in New Britain, Connecticut. Today’s topic of today’s episode of Imagine America Radio were electrician careers. We want to also thank the audience of this podcast, who’ve taken time out of their very busy hectic schedule to listen Imagine America Radio.
On behalf of my colleague, Lee Doubleday, and myself, please be safe and we look forward to talking to you again very soon. Thank you and goodbye.