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Partnership on Solar Doghouses to Inspire Future Trade Workers

How do you get Middle School kids excited about working in the trades? Maybe get a dog involved.

The NECA/IBEW Powering America Team of the Arizona Chapter of NECA, IBEW Local 640, and Phoenix Electric JATC have partnered with Madison Park Middle School to create the CACTUS Program (Careers in Architecture, Construction, and Trades Uplifting Students). The project gets students in 6th grade through 8th grade to work together with electrical industry professionals to bring electrical construction projects to life.

A new Electric TV video highlights the pilot project for the new CACTUS Program – solar-powered dog houses!

These aren't just your run-of-the-mill doghouses, either. To keep pups comfortable through the Phoenix summer the doghouses were outfitted with solar panels, temperature sensors and cooling units. The construction teams were led by apprentice trade workers getting a taste of training from the journeyman wireman's point of view.

Said NECA/IBEW in the description of the video, “for these middle school students, meeting and working with the men and women of the NECA/IBEW Powering America Team makes a career in the electrical industry that much more tangible.”

The project culminated in an auction where people were able to bid on the finished dog houses. All proceeds from the event go right back to the CACTUS program. With program sponsorship support from Milwaukee Tool, Border States, Independent Electric Supply, 3M, Cannon & Wendt, Rosendin, and Gilbane, the project brought the students together to work as a team to create the dog houses and then they got to see the fruits of their labor shared with the community.

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