Porter and Chester Institute Grad: From Factory Work to an Electrical Career

James Reeves
James Reeves

Porter and Chester Institute Grad: From Factory Work to an Electrical Career

James Reeves had a steady job, working in a mill that manufactured tin, but said he always knew there was something more for him. He didn’t know exactly what that was, but he suspected that he’d need some training if he was going to get out and find a new career.

“I started to hate my job.  It was so monotonous,” said Jimmy. “I knew I needed to do something else, to learn something new. That’s when I found Porter and Chester.”

Jimmy went for a school tour and said he was immediately struck by how nice everyone was.

“From the moment I walked through the door, everyone was friendly and personal,” said Jimmy.

Jimmy said he chose the electrician program at the Rocky Hill campus because it seemed to satisfy his natural curiosity. His own problem-solving skills also seemed a perfect fit for the skills he’d need to succeed in class and out on the job as an electrical apprentice.

The electrician program at Porter and Chester Institute taught Jimmy the fundamentals of electricity, electrical code and safety. It showed him how to install electrical power distribution systems, how to wire and connect circuitry and how to work on motors, transformers, generators and the electronic systems in mechanical tools. And what Jimmy said he liked best about the program was the way it was taught. Early mornings were spent in the classroom, but then students were able to immediately put those lessons to use in the labs.

“The lab was probably my favorite part,” said Jimmy. “I’m a hands-on learner. That’s how I understand best and it’s still how I learn today.”

Today, Jimmy is an electrical apprentice at T & T Electrical in Harford. Jimmy said he really enjoys his job and that Porter and Chester Institute “gave me the basic knowledge of what I’d need to succeed out in the field.” He’s been working on a job site recently at an apartment complex where he’s roughing-in electrical wiring indoors and putting up light poles outdoors. He’s also pulling service wires and laying down underground pipes for wiring. And he’s still learning!

“I still think there’s even more to learn,” said Jimmy, “and I’m learning every day.”

Jimmy is working as an apprentice now, but said that in four years, he’ll sit for his electrical license exam to become an electrician. Then, in six years he plans to go for his business license and by ten years? “I’d like to own my own company.”

Since his days working at the mill, Jimmy has come a long way. He’s had the drive, discipline and determination to make things happen. He calls attending Porter and Chester Institute “one of the best decisions” he could have made, but said he knew it was only the beginning.

If you’re ready to begin on the path to a new career, could Porter and Chester Institute be the right decision for you? Jimmy found the perfect fit with the electrical program, but maybe you’d rather pursue a career in healthcare or electronics. Check out all ten of our programs at our nine campuses located throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.