When Victor Flowers looks back at his first day as a commercial electrician apprentice, he can’t help but crack a smile.
“On my first job, I had to use what we call a triple-nickel to bend rigid pipe,” Flowers said. “You don’t learn that until your second year [in the apprenticeship], but my first day on the job, not knowing anything about being an electrician, my journeyman said, ‘You’re going to learn how to use it today.’”
Flowers believes that baptism by fire on his first day at Truck World in North Jackson led him toward his favorite aspect of the electrical field.
“I love bending conduit,” Flowers exclaimed. “I was just telling another apprentice the other day. We had to bend some pipe and one of us had to put the pipe together, and the other one had to bend. I said, ‘Let me bend because that’s my favorite thing to do.’”
Now in his third year, Flowers enjoys learning a new skill each day.
“When I first started, I thought an electrician was all about pulling wire and hooking stuff up,” he said. “With pipe bending, you have to learn different measurements and things like that, it’s a lot more detailed than I thought it would be.”
That attention to detail is also something that drives Flowers on various projects.
“This job teaches you to learn how to make decisions on your own. I’ve grown in my decision-making and being able to make decisions on my own. First year, I had to ask my journeyman a ton of questions because I didn’t know anything.”
Flowers got into the electrical trade after previously working as an electronic technician.
“It was a desk job, sitting at a desk every day. A journeyman named Rob Maran was doing some work there, so I asked him how he liked it. He gave me all the information and Ed Emerick’s [phone] number, and it went from there. It gave me a chance to do something different every day.”
Currently, Flowers is working at the PHD Manufacturing facility in Columbiana, where he is helping put up cable tray, and you guessed it – bending pipe for their new A/C unit.
“It’s very important to make sure all the measurements are correct,” he said.
Flowers has also worked on other major projects throughout the Mahoning Valley, including the Windsor House in Canfield. With that particular job, Flowers was introduced to some elements from the residential side of the apprentice program.
“On that job, I got to learn 3-way switches, 4-way switches and lighting.”
In his free time, Flowers enjoys playing basketball in an adult league and participating in family activities with his wife, Kayla, and three children. Flowers and his wife are expecting another child in the next few months.
Flowers is also active at his church, where he is a youth minister. In that role, he helps mentor and teach youth classes.
“I believe it’s important to have role models,” he said. “A lot of young people look up to you.”
With two years left in his apprenticeship, Flowers is focused on accomplishing one thing.
“I just want to get to the point where I can become a journeyman and be trusted to run a job.”
For more information on the electrician apprentice program, visit ATradeThatPays.com.