Sparky’s Current Events

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October 2021
Volume 1, Issue

Welcome Back Students!

We trust that you’ve all had a chance to disconnect a bit this summer, and that you all found positive and nourishing opportunities to breathe, relax and renew. Classes kicked off the week of September 13th and we are welcoming new students and returning students! Our first 2 weeks of school were a hub of activity with new apprentice students taking Core Curriculum where each student is taught the importance of workplace safety. Learning proper safety protocols from day one ensures our future tradespeople incorporate PPE and safety into their jobs as part of their everyday routine. Our Building/Property Maintenance students are already immersed in hands-on learning and the sound of power tools is like music to our ears! Not only are our students learning about power tools, but we take it old school with hand tools like hand saws and hammers so that our students are prepared for whatever comes their way! Read more…

Building Maintenance Course

If you have ever lived in an apartment, you will know that when anything goes wrong with the appliances, heating, air
conditioning or plumbing, it’s an easy call to the leasing ofϐice or maintenance department. All apartment complexes have a maintenance staff to handle minor repairs.

Currently, many apartment complexes are short staffed for maintenance technicians. There are numerous openings for maintenance staff in Hampton Roads and Williamsburg. VTA gets phone calls every day asking to hire our students!

So, what does it take to be a building maintenance technician? If you were to attend Virginia Technical Academy’s Building Maintenance apprenticeship course, you would learn a diversified skill set needed to maintain and renovate commercial and residential buildings. All courses start with an OSHA 10 Safety Class, for on-the-job safety. Then basic construction math such as how to measure and calculate the quantity of material you may need for your projects. The course comprises of six major parts: carpentry, electrical, plumbing, heating & air-conditioning (HVAC), appliance repair and maintenance, and professional development. Here are some of the skills students learn:Read more…

Breaking Bad(ly): Defective Circuit Breaker Panels Pose Ongoing Hazard

So, you’ve finally found your dream house and are ready to sign the loan papers. The price is agreed upon, the realtor has walked you through all the features, and you’re already imagining your plans for the spare bedroom.
But there’s one question you may have forgotten to ask the seller:

“Can I have a look at the circuit breaker panel?”

Granted, it’s a bit of an odd request. But, if you are purchasing (or already live in!) an older home, having a quick peek at your panel may save you from expensive repairs – or, more devastatingly, a house fire.

Just like cars, there are different brands and models of breaker panels out there. Most of them are perfectly good equipment; Square D, General Electric, Siemens, and Eaton-Cutler-Hammer are quality brands that should last
as long as your home. However, there are some older panels still in homes that probably should be inspected and/or replaced. These breaker panels may be ineffective at best and downright dangerous at worst. Just as you would, or should, have a mechanic inspect a pre-owned car you’re thinking of purchasing, you should have your home inspector give you a thorough report on your breaker panel. Read more…

Want to Learn More?

Read our full October 2021 newsletter here! Or give us a call at (757) 586-5322 to learn more about our hands-on technical training courses.