Each year, EC&M crowns a select group of up-and-coming leaders in the electrical industry with its annual 30 Under 30 honor. This year, the group includes a diverse blend of young electrical professionals who are all working toward a brighter future for the electrical industry.
The 2022 Electrical All Stars work in the field as electricians or project managers or in the office as engineers or business owners. While some stumbled upon opportunities in the industry, others were literally born into the electrical trade. Levi McBride, an electrician for McBride-Owens, Inc. in North Carolina, is a prime example.
“The industry needs all the young people it can get, and it’s a great career to be in,” he says. “We need to learn as much as possible from the industry veterans while we still can.”
Tom Berch, superintendent for CRB Group in Maryland, agrees, saying that when they first enter the industry, young electrical professionals need to leave their ego at the door.
“Remember that just because you went to college doesn’t mean you know even remotely more than the tradesmen who have been doing the work since before you were born,” Berch says.
Even after they graduate from college/technical school or earn their project management certification/journeyman card, the 30 Under 30 are still trying to learn everything they can about the industry.
“You need to recognize that it takes a crew to construct a building, and you’re not going to have the answers right away,” says Kevin Compton, Trimble operator for Eldeco, Inc. “Being determined to find solutions that are vital to success in the electrical industry.”
To gain a competitive edge, the up-and-coming leaders are staying in tune with new technologies and trends. For example, Cody Swayze, project manager at Smith Seckman Reid, says his company has invested in virtual reality on large projects to improve coordination on mechanical/electrical/plumping systems both during design and construction.
“Much of today’s technologies are allowing engineers, architects, and contractors to work more closely than ever before in coordinating designs across all trades,” he says.
2022’s Under 30 EC&M Electrical All Stars: