Wired for Success: Jake Finds Fulfillment in Hands-on Apprenticeship

November 14, 2023

Jake’s journey toward becoming an electrician ignited during his high school years, where he immersed himself in three years of electrical classes. Drawn to the hands-on nature of the job and freedom it offered from being tethered to a single workstation all day, Jake discovered his passion for working with his hands. Recognizing traditional schooling wasn’t his preference, Jake believed that venturing into a trade was his key to a fulfilling life. Serendipity struck when he secured an apprenticeship through Caterpillar and ICC.

“Most people don’t consider apprenticeships the way to go,” Jake observes, underscoring the importance of spotlighting the benefits of apprenticeship programs, especially during Apprenticeship Week. Reflecting on his ICC experience, Jake expresses gratitude for everything, from the hands-on training to the guidance provided by program coordinator Amanda Nordstrom and instructors like Steve Flinn. He attributes his positive outlook on the future to these supportive individuals who not only want their students to succeed but also inspire them to persevere when challenges arise.

“I’m glad I trusted my gut. It’s worth it. You just have to take the leap of faith and trust that everything will work out.”

Jake Donald

As a hands-on learner, Jake thrives when physically engaged and able to practice skills repeatedly. The structure of his apprenticeship program aligns with his learning style dispelling initial nervousness about attending college. He particularly enjoyed the flexibility of the lab sessions, where he could work independently, discuss thoughts with Steve Flinn, and receive valuable advice for progress. Diving into challenges headfirst and navigating solutions independently significantly bolstered Jake’s confidence.

With the apprenticeship experience under his belt, Jake envisions a future career that will not only support the family he hopes to have but also contribute to his community.