Smart, Well-Spoken and Selfless, Luis Martinez is a Rising Star in the Electrical Industry
Photos and Story By Allen Allnoch
Spend a few minutes in conversation with Luis Martinez and you quickly realize this young man is mature far beyond his age.
Luis, an apprentice with Metro Power Electrical Contractors, is thoughtful, articulate and driven by a sense of ambition that seeks the best for the people around him.
The 21-year-old is an ideal ambassador for Metro Power, a role he embraced in representing the company at the 2017 CEFGA CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships. Not only did he help host his company’s exhibit on the convention center floor, he participated in a SkillsUSA Champions Panel before 1,000-plus attendees at the CEFGA VIP and SkillsUSA Champions’ Breakfast.
Introducing Luis at the breakfast, CEFGA President and CEO Scott Shelar said, “I love this quote. He says, ‘Since Metro Power is an employee-owned company, I see no reason why I couldn’t become the CEO of this company one day. I want to change lives and leave a lasting impression on the construction industry while encouraging others to do the same.’”
Luis took construction classes at Johnson High School in Gainesville. Of the four areas he explored – plumbing, electrical, carpentry and masonry – he was most attracted to electrical.
His selfless nature led him to get involved with a Habitat for Humanity program called Habitat High, which serves as an accredited course for high school juniors and seniors in the Hall County and Gainesville City School systems.
The program connected him with his future employer when Tony Varamo, Workforce Development Manager for Metro Power, spoke to Habitat High students one day.
“Luis took an interest in what I said, and I hired him when he was 17 years old,” Varamo recalls. “He worked part-time for us, and the day he turned 18, I made him an apprentice, and now he’s in his third year with the Independent Electrical Contractors.”
Luis’s initial work included jobs on Gwinnett County school sites. The past two years he’s ventured further from home, working at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta. He’s also worked on a retirement home project, an experience that made a lasting impact on him.
“We were installing lights throughout the whole building,” he recalls. “I was being complimented by some of the residents, like, ‘Thank you for doing such good work,’ and, ‘We love the new look.’ That really made me feel good about the work I was doing. I felt like I was making a difference in their lives.”
Luis will complete his apprenticeship in 2018. With his positive attitude, intelligence and work ethic, he’ll surely have plenty of options for his career development.
“I enjoy electrical work, but I also want to do something entrepreneurial, to start my own business,” he says. “If that dream doesn’t work out, I’ll always have this to fall back on. Electrical skills will always be needed. I would recommend high schoolers, especially if they don’t know what they want to do yet, to learn some kind of construction skill. It’s good to have those hands-on skills that no one else has.”
That kind of others-focused thinking is a big reason why Luis is such an effective spokesman for his company and his industry.
“He’s very outgoing, very diligent, and pays attention to detail,” Varamo says. “He can really get close to the students and develop those relationships because he just came out of high school three years ago. I try to get him out there as much as possible.”