Joshua Williams of Grafton knew he wanted to pursue a career in the electrical field, so he asked an electrician friend if he could shadow him at work during April school vacation.
Joshua spent the week soaking up everything he could about being an electrician as he helped at job sites through the Lebanon-based electrical business, Solid Connection. This experience, just weeks before high school graduation, led to a solid career connection.
“At the end of the week, I felt like I had made a difference,” he said. “I did a lot of hands-on work and I really enjoyed it. I was like, ‘I think this is what I want to do.’
“It was kind of last-minute, but thank God it happened,” Joshua said.
With help from a Charitable Foundation scholarship, Joshua has begun a two-year program at Lakes Region Community College toward an associate’s degree in applied sciences, majoring in Electrical Systems Maintenance and Installation and in Electrical Power and Control Technologies.
He plans four more years of study for an electrician journeyman’s license, then to earn his master electrician’s certification. He dreams of starting his own business.
Joshua was drawn to being an electrician because he is good at working with his hands, enjoys being able to work at different job sites and likes helping people.
“This may not be directly helping people, but I can help someone achieve their dream home, or help them get their dream home finished and I really like that,” he said.
Plus, electricians are always in demand.
Joshua learned he had been awarded the scholarship while sitting on stage with other seniors at Mascoma Valley Regional High School’s Scholarship Awards Night this spring. He heard his name and couldn’t believe it.
“I was shaking because I was so excited,” he said. “I’d like to thank them for giving me this opportunity that I probably wouldn’t have had without their help.”
Building on what he learned during his April vacation job shadowing, Joshua worked at Solid Connection this summer, learning more about becoming an electrician as he prepared to begin classes at LRCC.
He plans to return to his community after graduation to work full-time as an electrician. It’s his way of saying thanks and giving back to the Upper Valley.
“The community has always been there for me,” he said, being supportive at church, as well as attending his high school football games and countless indoor and outdoor track and field events.
“Everybody has been so nice, caring and giving, and I want to show that I respected that throughout the years,” Joshua said.