The entire I.B. Abel team is honored to recognize Kayla C., a talented second-year apprentice from York Electrical Institute, for winning the prestigious IBEW Hour Power 2024 Apprentice of the Year award. This recognition is a testament to her dedication, hard work, and exceptional skill in the electrical construction industry. Congratulations, Kayla!

While still a relative newcomer to the electrical construction industry and the I.B. Abel team, apprentice Kayla has blazed an impressive trail since graduating from high school in 2022 and completing the electrical pre-apprenticeship program at York Electrical Institute through IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 229.

Based on her leadership qualities, determination, and skills as an apprentice, Kayla was nominated by her instructors at the York Electrical Institute for the IBEW Hour Power 2024 Apprentice of the Year award. This national-level award is presented to just one winner per year. Earlier this year, Kayla learned that she was chosen as the winner, traveling to Washington, DC, to receive the award during the IBEW Construction and Maintenance Conference — an event that included speeches from notable figures such as United States President Joe Biden.

Kayla shares valuable insights into her experience of being recognized in this way as she advances on her career journey with a spirit of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of excellence.

The Spark that Ignited an Unexpected Interest in Electrical Construction

Kayla’s journey into the electrical construction field began unexpectedly in high school. A photography class led her to a pivotal meeting with an influential teacher, Mr. Moore, who also taught shop classes and encouraged her to explore the hands-on learning offered in those courses. Kayla discovered her fascination with electricity and a love for hands-on work, and her teacher advised her to enroll in a pre-apprenticeship program through IBEW Local 229, which turned out to be a great experience.

“I found that electricity fascinated me, and I love to work with my hands, so I applied for the apprenticeship and started working very shortly after I graduated.”

– Kayla C.

Joining I.B. Abel

In 2022, Kayla began her career with I.B. Abel, which she soon learned is a leading York, PA-based electrical contractor providing top-notch electrical construction services. Her first experience at the pre-fab shop provided a real-world introduction to construction. Since then, she has flourished within the supportive, safety-driven, and encouraging environment of I.B. Abel.

Success in the Electrical Apprenticeship Program

Kayla attributes her success to key traits such as accountability, determination, and an open mind. She emphasizes the importance of showing up on time, staying persistent in the face of challenges, and always being willing to learn from others during her electrician apprenticeship. Between her union and the I.B. Abel team, she is grateful for the many mentors who have helped guide her in the industry.

Her training director, Phil L., nominated her for the Apprentice of the Year Award, and Kayla acknowledges him and every journeyman she has worked with during her apprenticeship jobs as contributing to her growth and development. In collaboration with these mentors on the job, Kayla describes her electrician apprenticeship as dynamic and diverse, with each day presenting new tasks and challenges. From terminating wires to digging trenches and running various types of piping, the variety keeps her engaged and constantly learning

EnABELher and Experience as a Woman in Construction

Kayla is actively involved in EnABELher, a group at I.B. Abel that fosters community and support among women in the electrical construction industry. She values the friendships and teamwork skills gained through this involvement, emphasizing the importance of being part of such groups during her electrical apprenticeship. As a woman in construction, Kayla shared that her experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and she appreciates the camaraderie and mutual support among all her colleagues.

“My experience has been great. So far, I have had nothing but support and encouragement. It’s a great community of both men and women that come together to get a job done and celebrate wins. I enjoy being able to encourage others that they can do whatever they set their mind to.”

– Kayla C.

I.B. Abel employees in a conference room

Aspirations for a Bright Future & Inspiring the Next Generation of Electricians

The Apprentice of the Year award has broadened Kayla’s perspective and inspired her to continue exploring opportunities within electrical construction. She has set high personal goals, including mastering the trade and eventually taking on leadership roles within electrical services. With her dedication and the support of her mentors, she is excited to continue growing and exploring the limitless opportunities and many career paths within the industry.

At the same time, she is leaning into bringing more women along with her on the journey. Kayla’s participation in the “Women in the Electrical Industry Tour” at I.B. Abel left a lasting impression, showing her just how influential she already has been on high school girls exploring careers in the field. One student’s particular excitement and curiosity empowered Kayla’s inspiration, highlighting the importance of mentorship and sharing experiences.

The I.B. Abel Experience: Support at Every Turn to Cultivate Future Industry Leaders

Kayla shared that the fully ingrained culture of mentorship and respect at I.B. Abel has been instrumental in her success, providing a multitude of opportunities where she can build vital teamwork skills.

“I.B. Abel has provided me with a supportive environment where I feel appreciated and valued while learning. It’s a great company to work for!

– Kayla C.

Once again, congratulations to Kayla from the entire I.B. Abel team for this incredible achievement! Her career journey is a testament to the power of hard work, pushing through barriers, and embracing the level of support that is a part of the I.B. Abel culture. We look forward to seeing all the great things she will accomplish in her career.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in electrical construction? If you think you might be a great fit for the I.B. Abel team, reach out to our team for more information about our apprenticeship program at Visit our Careers page to view open positions and learn about our competitive benefits, training and mentorship programs, and company culture.