Ridgewater Electrician student to compete in nationals
December 15, 2021
HUTCHINSON and WILLMAR, MN – To know a skill is good, but to know it well and be quick at performing it up to standards under pressure is excellent.
Ridgewater’s Emma Becker, a first-year Electrician student from rural Glencoe, did just that last Thursday at the Upper Midwest Electrical Expo in Minneapolis. Nearly 40 Ridgewater Electrician students attended the expo, but just a handful competed. Becker competed in the student Apprentice bracket and earned the honor to compete in the IDEAL Elite Tradesman National Championship in Nashville coming up on December 16-17.
“This is really a big deal,” said Ridgewater Electrician instructor Brent Hillman of the Hutchinson campus. He and fellow instructor Andrew Meyer commended Becker on her performance. “Emma competed against other qualifying times of electricians from across the nation, eventually eliminating someone and taking their place in Nashville.”
“Emma really has a good grasp of electrical concepts and can apply them very quickly,” Meyer said.
The expo competition included separate divisions, one for students/apprentices and one for licensed professional electricians. Competitors had to wire a three-way switching circuit and meet the qualifiers of time, workmanship and National Electrical Code compliance. Becker completed the task in just two minutes and seven seconds, nearly a minute faster than even one of her instructors.
In Nashville, Becker will be one of 54 student/apprentice competitors among a total of 165 competitors, which includes the student/apprentices and professionals from across the nation.
In preparation, Becker has been watching past competitions and practicing what she could in the short amount of time she had during finals week and the single week between competitions. Last year’s Ideal National Championships aired on ESPN2 and included four rounds, including additional challenges such as overhead service, a door lock code challenge, and more.
Although Becker is a first-semester student, she is no stranger to the construction industry. A job shadow experience last spring quickly turned into a job at Kranz Electric in Gaylord. In addition, her siblings and grandfather work in carpentry and welding. Her grandfather was quite the competitor also, earning a national second place at SkillsUSA years ago.
“He is so excited for me,” Becker said. “We’re just all kind of trades people,” she said of her family. “I like working with my hands, and I heard the job outlook and pay is pretty good for electricians.”
For now, she just hopes to do well at nationals.
To learn more about the competition, go to https://www.idealind.com/us/en/nationals-home-page.html or check out the IDEAL Facebook page for live coverage at https://www.facebook.com/IDEALindustries.
To learn more about Ridgewater’s Electrician program, go to www.ridgewater.edu/electrician.