People are using more electricity today than ever before as the world reduces its reliance on fossil fuels. As a result, electricity is quickly becoming the energy resource of choice thus increasing the demand for skilled electricians. From the rise of electric vehicles to the search for sustainable energy solutions, the electrical industry is at the center of it all. Yet, the availability of qualified workers is failing to keep pace with the fast-growing industry.
It’s a challenge that organizations like the Puget Sound Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (PSEJATC) are working tirelessly to address. Puget Sound Electrical JATC’s apprenticeship programs offer aspiring electricians a unique opportunity to “earn while you learn,” providing financial stability while gaining hands-on experience in the electrical industry. These comprehensive programs, which combine on-the-job training and classroom instruction, ensure that students have the necessary skills and expertise to succeed in their careers.
Through these innovative apprenticeship programs and a longstanding partnership with Fluke, PSEJATC is training the next generation of electricians to help meet the industry’s growing demand for skilled workers. This partnership gives apprentices access to the latest testing and measurement tools, further enhancing their training and education.
PSEJATC’s Fluke Meter Lab was later renamed in honor of Steve Uhrich— the driving force of Fluke and PSEJATC’s collaboration who passed away in September 2020. Steve was a top instructor at PSEJATC and was instrumental in strengthening their affiliation with Fluke. He worked tirelessly with Fluke to provide meter safety information, product user information, and countless ideas to ensure PSEJATC programs met safety standards. Steve’s mentorship played a vital role in shaping the careers of many electrical workers, including a group of four PSEJATC students whom he guided to victory in a Fluke Connect competition. These students became critical thinkers in the industry and eventually joined the ranks of PSEJATC’s instructors, a testament to Steve’s lasting impact.
Laurie Myers, who worked closely with Steve before his passing, shares Steve’s profound impact on the PSEJATC community. “His daily guidance is missed by many of us already,” Laurie said. “I am so pleased that we will have an opportunity to honor Steve, the person, the teacher, the mentor, and his dedication and passion to PSEJATC, the apprentices, the journeyman, and his co-workers. This building will always feel his presence.”
Steve Uhrich will forever remain an inspiration to aspiring electricians at PSEJATC. His legacy lives on through the Steve Uhrich Meter Lab and the knowledge he passed on to other instructors. Through the continuing efforts of Fluke and PSEJATC, Steve’s vision for driving innovation and excellence in the electrical industry will continue to flourish for years to come.
Addressing the skills gap in the electrical industry is crucial for economic growth, innovation, and sustainability. With proper mentorship and quality education, more skilled electricians will enter the industry to provide efficient and sustainable electrical solutions, ultimately leading to improved community safety.