Derek Sligh, project manager in CarolinaPower’s Charleston office, has been elected President of the Charleston Electrical Contractors Association (CECA) for the 2023 term. Sligh most recently served as Vice President. He was Secretary the previous year.
CECA is a non-profit association comprised of more than 75 local electrical contractors and vendors with a common goal of impacting the electrical industry for the better. Members have access to a wide range of resources not available to individual firms, such as educational and recruiting programs, government relations, and industry assistance funds.
“Through CECA, companies that ‘compete by day’ work together to spread the word about the rewarding career opportunities in the electrical contracting field. We focus on recruiting young people but also want people of all ages who are considering a career change to consider becoming an electrician. Highly skilled electricians are in high demand and our earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship program provides an exceptional path without incurring educational debt,” said Sligh.
CECA member volunteers raise awareness about career options for electricians through classroom talks at middle schools and high schools, as well as participation in career fairs and community events. CECA annually sponsors skills competitions for high schoolers.
The CECA-administered electrical apprenticeship program, launched in partnership with Trident Technical College, has proven quite successful in attracting new recruits to the industry. The program has seen a steady increase in enrollment over the past few years with 140 apprentices currently enrolled. Registered with the S.C. Department of Labor, CECA’s comprehensive electrical apprenticeship program provides a combination of classroom, laboratory, and work experiences. Apprentices work full-time during the day and attend classes in person or virtually once a week. The program utilizes curriculum developed by the National Center of Construction Education & Research (NCCER).
Another CECA priority is promoting continuous learning for members. Two-and-a-half years ago, CECA launched the first Supervisor electrical apprenticeship program in the state of South Carolina. CarolinaPower’s Johnny Monroe, branch manager and a CECA board member, is one of four instructors for the Charleston area’s Supervisor electrical apprenticeship program. There are currently 35 people enrolled in the Project Supervision class. CECA also began offering a Project Management course this past year and has 10 people enrolled. To learn more about CECA, visit http://www.cecasc.org.