Students from the Electrical Technologies class from the Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) did a field study at Portrait Hill Subdivision in Chapin March 6.

In conjunction with APEX Electric and Mungo Homes, students from the electrical class were able to apply what they have learned in class to the actual real world. Students assisted APEX Electric electricians in the rough-in wiring of a newly framed home. In addition, the students assisted in the finish trim of a home that included installing lights, receptacles, and switches in a home soon to be ready for sale. Students learned valuable information and tricks of the trade from experienced electricians.

“This gives students an opportunity to learn about actual working conditions, physical demands, methods, and teamwork needed that we can’t duplicate in the classroom,” said Electrical Technology instructor Tracy Hellman. “This training helps students make a better decision if a career in a particular field is right for them.”

APEX Electric is one of the largest residential/light commercial electrical companies in the Columbia area, completing more than 700 new construction homes last year.

“There is a significant need for construction trade professionals and this opportunity allowed our company to showcase the electrical field to students interested in the trade and the construction industry,” said Jeremy Long, APEX Electric operations manager. “Programs like this provide the opportunity for students to network with our company in hopes of attaining summer internships and full-time employment upon graduation from high school.”

Hellman said business partnerships like this not only help students but also teachers.

“As teachers, we are no longer involved in the day to day changes in our industry. Our business partners keep us updated on new technologies, methods, and tools. This allows us to prepare our students so they become more knowledgeable and marketable to prospective employers,” said Hellman.

Mungo Homes has been in the Columbia area since 1954 and continues to be one of the largest home builders in South Carolina. In addition, they build homes in Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama. In 2012, Mungo Homes was voted Americas Best Homebuilder, 2012 National Green Advocate of the Year, in 2008, Mungo Homes was awarded the National Housing Quality Award.

School District Five is committed to preparing students for life after high school and this field study is evidence of that. In 2018, the district was recognized for having the second highest college readiness rating in South Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report ranking. 

“We certainly appreciate our community and business partners that provide these very real experiences for our students,” said Dr. Al Gates, Director of Career and Technical Education at The Center. “It shows their commitment to secondary education and the giving of their time and skills to help District Five students reach their full potential.”

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