DeJian stands with his hands held together in front of his stomach. He is standing in front of a green tool chest while wearing safety glasses and a hard hat.

National Apprenticeship Week 2019, Continued

DeJian – IBEW 906 Electrician Apprentice

ESCANABA, MI – Sometimes, people struggle to find their niche. Other times, they find what seems to be their destiny.

DeJian, an Apprentice with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 906 and B&B Electric, is on his way to becoming a full-fledged Journeyman Electrician. A five-year Apprentice, DeJian enjoyed his time learning the ropes from veteran Electricians and reflected upon the journey that brought him here.

“I was a machinist for multiple years…other than that, college, and I was in the National Guard,” said DeJian. “I held an Interior Electrician MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) in the National Guard. It was one of the MOS’s that I had.”

In the National Guard, DeJian gained hands-on experience as an Electrician. It wasn’t quite the residential and industrial projects he is accustomed to now, though.

“Hop on a chopper, fly out somewhere and take pictures, look at everything, get everything ready…knock out the project, go back to our main FOB (Forward Operating Base),” explained DeJian. “We did an ICU for the Jordanian military. That was pretty cool.”

His military experience wasn’t the only influencing factor on his decision, though. Interest in this career path ran in DeJian’s family.

“I enjoyed electrical work. My father was an Electrician at one point, too,” said DeJian.

When asked about the experiences he gained while watching his father work, DeJian remembered the times fondly.

“I did get to watch him quite a bit…get to watch him work. Do things like that. It was always enjoyable,” DeJian said with a smile.

In 2019, the hard work DeJian put in, and the experience he gained, paid off. He was selected as the Upper Peninsula Apprentice of the Year. He reflected on what the award meant to him.

“It’s solidification for you that you are doing a good job, and that somebody valued you and saw your effort. It helped things to come full circle to a certain extent.”

DeJian, now coming to the end of his apprenticeship, stated that he would encourage people to follow his lead and learn more about their opportunities in an apprenticeship.

“There’s no harm in going in and talking to somebody…the only thing at the end of the day you’re walking away from is a possible career.”

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship in the skilled trades, visit your local Michigan Works! American Job Center in the Upper Peninsula or contact Holly Peoples at hpeoples@isupward.org. She, along with other helpful Michigan Works! staff members, will assist you in finding your path.

Please visit www.UPMichiganWorks.org to find more information about hours of operation and locations of Michigan Works! American Job Centers in the Upper Peninsula.

National Apprenticeship Week is a celebration of apprentices and the organizations that support them. Find out more about an apprenticeship during this year’s celebration, November 11th through the 17th.