July 12, 2023

ELECTRI International invited the Iowa State NECA Student Chapter to participate in a construction project in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The project goal was to help bring electricity to low-income families still struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

On site, the team worked with ELECTRI Council contractors, especially Bob Davies, Mike Leone, Ted Robertson, and Kellie Holland. They mentored the students as they installed solar panels on a residence and put a solar generator in place. Industry partner Sonepar donated all solar equipment, including panels, racks, inverters, and batteries, as well as a Generac home generator. Milwaukee Tool provided necessary tools and equipment for the installation.

Iowa State Teaching Professor Jenny Baker works with the student chapter throughout the year and helped them get ready for this volunteer assignment. “Our NECA Student Chapter members are all in construction engineering with an electric influence. This was more than book learning. It was a great hands-on opportunity for them to become more knowledgeable about the electrical construction industry.”

The participating members of the Iowa State team included:  Ryan Farrell, Noah Wempen, Clay Livingston, and Renee Clemensen. They networked with the ELECTRI Council during a dinner reception and also provided their feedback on the project during one of the Council business sessions. Student Chapter President Ryan Farrell noted, “This experience was a good opportunity for us to participate with top industry members and really learn more about how construction projects need to be organized and conducted. We know we were excited to meet the ELECTRI Council members and we hope they enjoyed having one of the best NECA Student Chapters involved with this installation project.”  

For more information on this hands-on student experience, contact Anna (Trapane) Jochim, ELECTRI’s Director of Future Workforce Development at Anna.Jochim@electri.org.