Next stop after high school? Electrician


As more students seek a college education over the past 15 years, the vocational studies and trades have seen the average age of their employees increase.

House Bill 3 in 2019 was among the moves the Texas Legislature made to cater to the needs of trade industries across the state. Now, students are getting a look at various fields they can go into after high school and Jose Rios is an example.

After Monday’s awards assembly at Pampa High School, B&G Power Equipment Safety Coordinator Jason Rushing met with Rios, who will be joining the crew at the Pampa-based location right out of high school.

“We met Jose at a job fair this year and he showed an interest in becoming an electrician,” Rushing said. “There’s been all of this focus on college and people forgot about the trades.

“We’re trying to get more students who feel like college isn’t for them to get involved in different trades like electricity and plumbing that aren’t being highlighted like going to college. The numbers are really low in young workers in this field. We’re trying to get younger employees in these fields. So we’ve been recruiting out of high school and Jose wants to come work for us.”

Rios said he felt like electricity is a growing and changing field and thought that made it a perfect fit for him.

“I was trying to see what I was trying to do after high school. I got really interested in it (becoming an electrician) and thought it would be cool,” Rios said. “Electricity changes on a daily basis with new technology advancing every day, so I’m ready to get to work after high school.”

Rios will start with B&G the week following graduation and will go through the Independent Electrical Contractors program.

“It’s a four-year program we will put him through,” Rushing said. “That’ll get him everything he needs for his journeyman license.”