21 PEOPLE GRADUATE FROM BWP’S SKILLED APPRENTICE PROGRAM

On June 7th, a beautiful sun-splashed spring morning in Burbank, 21 young men experienced an important life milestone: They graduated from BWP’s rigorous skilled craft apprentice program. Our apprentice graduates make up the new faces and voices in your community-owned utility working to keep your power on and water flowing.

The apprentice program teaches specialized skills to people seeking to be pipefitters, electricians, electrical test technicians, or electric line mechanics at BWP. Make no mistake — the apprentice program is hard.

Finishing the four-year training takes commitment and dedication. And working in the field isn’t easy. For example, some of these apprentice graduates will be working in ditches during Burbank’s searing summers. Others will climb utility poles to fix outages at any time of the day or night. Getting calls in the middle of the night to fix water or power outages is part of the job too.

To graduate, individuals must have perseverance, ambition, and initiative to complete this rigorous training, which combines classroom learning and work in the field.

MEET THE NEXT GENERATION OF BWP WATER PIPEFITTERS

There were five pipefitters among the 21 recent graduates. Pipefitter apprentices learn how to maintain, repair, construct, and operate the City’s water systems. Here’s what these five apprentice pipefitters said the program meant to them.

NICK GUIN

Nick Guin, 35 years old, said completing the program and taking a full-time steady job with BWP “was a huge positive step in my life. Before this, I did residential construction work as a framer, where work was unsteady. That was a job, but now I have a career and a growing family.” Nick was recently promoted to the position of Operator in the Water Department.

CHARLES BARRETT

Another graduate of the pipefitter program, Charles Barrett, 31, said he had been trying to become a BWP employee for about five years. “I had no experience in water, but I fell in love with the work. It felt great to graduate — the four years really flew by. This job means more opportunities for my family.” After completing his apprentice program, Charles recently moved over to BWP’s electric side as a Test Technician.

CODY PAICE

Cody Paice joined the pipefitter program after four or five years working in construction. “When I worked for contractors, I did a lot of work in Burbank. I liked construction, but being in contracting has its drawbacks — there’s no retirement program, no benefits, no paid time off. Really, there’s not a lot of stability or upward mobility. It’s hard to raise a family, or pursue a career, when you’re working for a contractor. BWP offered me more opportunities to grow.”

TRAVIS SMITH

Another pipefitter graduate, Travis Smith, said he was destined to work in water. “My dad was a plumber and I had worked for him for as long as I can remember. Working for BWP provides stable work, plus the pay and benefits are great. It’s a great city to live in and BWP is a great employer.” Travis, 29, hopes to have a long career at BWP. For him, the hardest part of the apprentice program was getting woken up in the middle of the night to fix broken pipes.

GRANT ANDERSON

Like many of his fellow apprentice graduates, Grant Anderson, 27, came to the program with years of construction experience under his belt. “I’ve lived here in Burbank all my life, and I love this city. I really wanted to work for BWP,” he said. “The people I work with now have become my buddies. The work we do is dangerous, and we have to look out for one another to keep our team safe.” Finally, Grant said, “The work at BWP is steady, unlike other construction jobs.”

MEET THE NEXT GENERATION OF BWP WATER PIPEFITTERS

There were five pipefitters among the 21 recent graduates. Pipefitter apprentices learn how to maintain, repair, construct, and operate the City’s water systems. Here’s what these five apprentice pipefitters said the program meant to them.

NICK GUIN

Nick Guin, 35 years old, said completing the program and taking a full-time steady job with BWP “was a huge positive step in my life. Before this, I did residential construction work as a framer, where work was unsteady. That was a job, but now I have a career and a growing family.” Nick was recently promoted to the position of Operator in the Water Department.

CHARLES BARRETT

Another graduate of the pipefitter program, Charles Barrett, 31, said he had been trying to become a BWP employee for about five years. “I had no experience in water, but I fell in love with the work. It felt great to graduate — the four years really flew by. This job means more opportunities for my family.” After completing his apprentice program, Charles recently moved over to BWP’s electric side as a Test Technician.

CODY PAICE

Cody Paice joined the pipefitter program after four or five years working in construction. “When I worked for contractors, I did a lot of work in Burbank. I liked construction, but being in contracting has its drawbacks — there’s no retirement program, no benefits, no paid time off. Really, there’s not a lot of stability or upward mobility. It’s hard to raise a family, or pursue a career, when you’re working for a contractor. BWP offered me more opportunities to grow.”

TRAVIS SMITH

Another pipefitter graduate, Travis Smith, said he was destined to work in water. “My dad was a plumber and I had worked for him for as long as I can remember. Working for BWP provides stable work, plus the pay and benefits are great. It’s a great city to live in and BWP is a great employer.” Travis, 29, hopes to have a long career at BWP. For him, the hardest part of the apprentice program was getting woken up in the middle of the night to fix broken pipes.

GRANT ANDERSON

Like many of his fellow apprentice graduates, Grant Anderson, 27, came to the program with years of construction experience under his belt. “I’ve lived here in Burbank all my life, and I love this city. I really wanted to work for BWP,” he said. “The people I work with now have become my buddies. The work we do is dangerous, and we have to look out for one another to keep our team safe.” Finally, Grant said, “The work at BWP is steady, unlike other construction jobs.”

BWP IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR MORE APPRENTICES

BWP’s Superintendent of Water Maintenance and Construction, Jeff Beckett, said, “These apprentice graduates are dedicated, hard-working employees who are valuable additions to our workforce and our utility. I have worked closely with many of them, and I am proud to have them as coworkers. BWP has made a significant investment over four years in training each graduate, and we hope his will be the start of long, fulfilling careers for them as they serve the community of Burbank.”

BWP always is recruiting for its trade apprentice programs. A willingness to work hard and learn, a passion for serving others, a driver’s license, and a high school degree or GED are the only formal requirements for candidates.

How to Contact Us

Customer Service: (818) 238-3700

Water Services: (818) 238-3500

Electric Services: (818) 238-3575

Conservation Services: (818) 238-3730

Street Light Outages: (818) 238-3700

After-Hours Emergency: (818) 238-3778

ONEBurbank: (818) 238-3113

Currents Editors

Editor-in-Chief

JEANNINE EDWARDS jjedwards@burbankca.gov

Editor

Creative Director

TRACIE NEISWONGER tneiswonger@burbankca.gov

EV Expert