We caught up with 2017 CIY Award finalist, Lowell Reith, and here’s what we learned…

Each year, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) presents the Craft Instructor of the Year Award to an exceptionally creative instructor with a positive attitude and the ability to educate through innovative teaching as well as promote lifelong learning to students. ABC recently announced its finalists for the 2017 Craft Instructor of the Year awards and we are thrilled to share that our Training and Licensing Officer, Lowell Reith, has been selected as a finalist in recognition of his dedication to student success and tireless efforts to provide top-notch education.

We caught up with Lowell to learn more about his career journey. Check out his interview below!

How did you get into your profession?

I was always interested in electrical. My dad did all of his own electrical projects and my uncle was in construction, so I got a chance to experience those things at an early age. I’ve gone from doing the electrical work myself to providing electrical education to others. From North Central Kansas Technical College to Interstates, electrical has always been part of my life.

How has Interstates impacted your career?

Interstates has taken my career and electrical knowledge to a whole new level. Previously, I had mostly experienced the residential and commercial side of the electrical field. Interstates allowed me to fully experience the industrial side. Interstates pushed me to always strive to do better, help others, and continue to learn and grow.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

I enjoy working with younger people in the electrical field, as well as working with the National Electric Code. Both are ever-changing, which keeps me working to find ways to help them and learn at the same time.

What is the most challenging part of your career?

Finding people who truly have a passion for this type of work. The electrical field is often viewed as a challenging career path due to the skill and education required. It is definitely not for everyone. However, the need for new people to enter into the profession is only going to increase.

What keeps you going on tough days?

There are really no tough days for me. Only long ones. I truly enjoy what I do, so that makes the days go by fast.

Can you share a favorite memory or success you have experienced with your students?

The best success for me is seeing students and apprentices move up in the field. At Interstates I have seen apprentices move up to journeyman, foreman, superintendents, and even on to the planning team. That what I remember the most.

What advice would you give someone hoping to enter this field/profession?

Working in the Electrical field is rewarding. There are incredible opportunities for growth even if you start as a new apprentice. Always continue learning while you work and don’t ever think you have learned it all – keep learning! Ask questions and do the best that you can do. Once you have reached a level you want, make sure you take the time to give back to those coming up after you. I guess that is more than one thing, but it all comes together to the main point – work to create a career, not just a job.

Well there you have it. I think we could all learn a thing or two from Lowell. A big congratulations to him on this great achievement! Have a question for Lowell? Leave it in the comments below!

Click here to learn more about the ABC’s 2017 Craft Instructor of the Year Award finalists.


This blog post was written by Sharz Neitge.