GSL Electric is a Utah/Nevada based company. Services offered are listed below.
GSL offers a great apprentice program. Over the course of 4 years, I will work and be attending school to obtain my journeyman electrician license. School is provided by ABC Nevada, and paid for by GSL. While I have a vast understanding of technology and small electronics, I am lost in the world of Electrical work at this scale. Thankfully, after a drug screen tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 1 2023) I start my orientation on Tuesday December 5th. GSL is unique among Electrician companies, as it is Employee-Owned. I was provided a few things, all GSL employee's must provide their own tools, so a tool list was handed over as well as some Employee-Owner Resources. From what I hear after a year of working with GSL you begin earning ownership in the company. What I hear from current employee's is that the ownership payouts are quite substantial. Las Vegas is a booming city. I have lived in the area my entire life and the rate of growth is insanity right now. Will it keep up? I dont know, but I sure hope so - it will effects my ownership rates. More buildings more electricity!
I will provide weekly updates covering what I learn from work and from school - Let the fun begin!
Not much exciting news for the first week. Orientation was held at the GSL Electric office and consisted of about 6 individuals ready to start. As far as I could tell, I was the only 'greenie' meaning the only one with 0 experience in the field. GSL's Safety Officer started orientation off with a PowerPoint outlining the basic safety guidelines of working construction which spanned about 6 hours of the total 7 hour orientation. Once the SO was wrapped up, we had HR come in and layout some paperwork to sign and fill-out. We were gifted some basic PPE such as our hardhats, reflective vests, gloves, and fall protection harnesses. We got some pretty neat GSL swag as well. A hat, a couple shirts, and a pretty sweet bronze GSL coin (Note to upload photos!). The coins can be collected/obtained by a foreman gifting you one for doing something outstanding, i.e going above and beyond, or finding a better way to do a specific task. When you collect 5, you can trade in 4 of them for $200 cash or $250 in GSL store credit to buy some more swag or tools. You always keep one in possession, which I don't quite understand the purpose of (maybe to motivate you to get more).
Aside from orientation day, the rest of the week (and the first 6-12 months of being with GSL) is spent in the 'shop' doing pre-fabrication work. Getting conduit ready for the various job sites, prepping electrical boxes, etc.. Mainly just chopping conduit to specific lengths and marking them for the specific runs they are for on job sites. On day 3 I was truck certified (which for some reason is a rarity? I am the only one aside from my foreman who is certified to drive a company vehicle at the shop) so I get to then haul the fabricated equipment to the various sites. I enjoy this, as I get an edge in with the foreman just by them getting to know me through the drop-offs.
So far I've noticed GSL works quite extensively with 'government' projects, examples are new schools and DMV buildings. One interesting client I see is a place called switch which are some MASSIVE data centers for ultra-rich companies (FAANG mostly). It's an interesting place that makes you feel like you are in the mazerunner saga. Massive steel gates, 30+ ft concrete walls with 2" steel spikes on top and security out the wazoo. Cool fact, switch is so secure you cannot even find their locations on google maps, they have requested their location data to be altered for security. So what you see on google maps, is NOT what is actually on site. Makes you think - what else isn't viewable to us?
That's all for week one! It's been a awesome, busy time for GSL with lots of new projects popping up when budgets fill up again in the first quarter of 2024. Im excited to continue sharing what I learn and hear, week 2 is about over at this point so should have that up and public for all within a week!
Week 2 was mostly driving. Some fabrication, but not much. Supposedly a permanent driver is going to be hired, but nothing has been set in stone as of yet. When I was driver certified we had another guy as a main driver who was sent to the field this week to work on Garside Middle School, which left me and the 24/7 Service boss as the 2 drivers. With all the work GSL has picked up there isn't much I do besides get material and tools to the different job sites.
We were asked how we felt about 10hr work days Monday, of course everyone said that's fine. So new schedule, instead of starting at 6:30a and ending at 3:00p, we now start at 5:30a and end at 4:00p Mon-Fri. I live outside Las Vegas, so having to leave by 4:00a sucks. Between driving, I get to do some fabrication. About 90% of all fabrication is just building direct-bury racks, which as it says, are large metal racks, with either rigid steel (heavy as sh*t) pipe on them for underground wire runs, or (for switch - mentioned in week 1) fiberglass pipe (nice and light) rigged to them. The plan for these is to have them set to the right height and angles for them to go straight from shop to the jobsite and into the ground. There is two welders who chop up square tubing and rebar and weld the frames, and then they are taken to the yard outside the shop where us grunts get the pipe on them. This week I started to notice the lack of organization, and the major lack of tech involved in planning. Things I am use to like task boards, ticketing systems, and communications channels are none existent. As a matter of fact, the IT Department is non-existent! Setting things up such as Kanbana boards, proper comm channels like slack, or mattermost would go a long way in scheduling deadlines and getting things out the door. What I have seen is just phone calls back and forth from the jobsite foreman's and the the shop foreman RJ or Billy (man in charge of the entire shop). this works great for requesting things they need, but its a not very effective at communicating the message to everyone involved in fabrication and delivery. Humans are forgetful, so verbally telling us this or that needs done is good if it needs done immediately, but really does not work when multiple things are laid out that need to be done. We did get Friday the 22nd off for Christmas eve which was nice!
A month down! We had Monday the 25th off for Christmas, so these 10hr days are kind of nice since I still am getting my 40hrs a week in. I got setup for school which is thru ABCNevada, and should start sometime in January. It will follow the normal school year, so summers off with winter and spring breaks. School is only on Fridays, and supposedly from 5:00p to 9:00p after work. Of course I was driving a lot this week. Tuesday the shop foreman and the 24/7 service boss were out, so Billy was out supervising the shop and yard. Luckily I had no driving Tuesday, so I got to do a bit more fabrication. All Tuesday we ended up built racks with what is called 'robroy' pipe on it for a gas station jobsite (QuikTrip is coming to the west!!!). Robroy is used when gasoline fumes are involved. It is rigid steel pipe coated with a thick layer of PVC on the outside and inside, and cut off valves are installed. The last thing you want is gasoline fumes from a gas station to enter a pipe full of electrical charge and BOOM! - no more gas station. So the robroy is used on sites like this. It sure as sh*t aint cheap, a 3/4" 20ft robroy pipe runs about $400-$600, and one specific rack had about 40-50 sticks of it from 3/4" to 1". So this single rack cost about $20k to build. Not cheap in any book. Wednesday RJ the shop foreman and Adrian the 24/7 service boss were back, and with no one driving the material out Tuesday you can guess what I did the rest of the week.. that's right, I drove - a lot. It seems like every street in Vegas has construction going on, LVP (Las Vegas Paving) has more jobs in town than I think there is people. Thursday Adrian ended up sick, and was out Thursday and Friday, so I barely left the truck aside from pulling the straps off the racks at drop offs. With school starting soon I hope to hit the field pretty quick, as the jobsite foreman's look at the apprentice's school grades to decide who they want on their jobsites. Being good with numbers and math, hopefully I get pulled quick to start going the actually electrician work. We have the coming Monday the 1st off for New Years, so again thankfully we have 10hr days to hit my 40hrs. Hopefully something interesting happens soon so there is more to write about, seems all I say every week is "I drove sh*t around."
Howdy-Ho virtual Neighbors! Nice and chilly this week, lots of wind and rain in the Vegas valley. Missing the colder, snowy Kansas weather. Got word that a full-time driver is set to start in about 2 weeks, so updates will actually feature some fabrication soon! This week we moved the majority of the DB racks out to the school sites (Garside Middle School and Woodbury Middle School) as well as got more fiberglass racks built out for Switch (mentioned in Week 1). Our SxS (Side by Side) forklift took a crap on us Thursday, right in the front of our yard gate where I pull the truck in. A mechanic came and took a look and it seems a new ignition is needed. Waiting on the quote and installation and it should be back up and running. Apparently even a used forklift is going for about $65,000 down at the auction yard so we're gonna keep this old t-rex puttin' as long as possible. I keep forgetting to get some pictures to post along side these updates, I will try to remember to snap a few this coming week and get them uploaded. Being January and the first quarter of 2024 we will be starting the work on some new accounts soon but no word as of yet what they are. With that in mind GSL is in dire need of some fresh workers, so if you ever felt like becoming an electrician and joining a company with some great potential and benefits, now is the time! If you aren't to sure where to start you can always contact me and I'd be happy to get you flowing in the right direction. On another note, GSL could REALLY use some individuals with CAD experience. Currently no one aside from myself has any experience with CAD software. At this time we use some other 2D schematic software that really, really hinders the fabrication capabilities. It became apparent this week as we started having issues with measurement translations for the racks. Every week we have to add something, re-weld something, or completely redesign something due to the lack of detail this 2D software provides. Have I mentioned to them I know CAD? Hell no. No chance I am gonna be stuck modeling our racks at what I currently make - BUT (if anyone at GSL reads these) I'd be happy to establish a solid IT department and CAD team. I also want to give a shout out to RJ the shop foreman. Dude takes some heat DAILY from the jobsite foremen for shit he literally cannot control. RJ you take it like a champ and are doing a kick ass job!
Hiddy-Ho, another week at GSL. We got a new group of greenies this week, 4 in total. All brand new to the field as I am. I haven't had much to do in the shop this week. Pre-fab material is flying out the roll-up door and onto the truck bed at a screamin' pace with the effect of me driving pretty much non-stop. An upside, the crew at Garside is wanting me out there, so P-DUB is coming when I am indentured with ABCNevada school. New guys are getting the bearing of how things run at the shop, and likely noticing how insanely disorganized things can be at times. Everyone got 4% cost of living pay increase, so another bonus?
Best news ever! A permanent driver is going to be hired. Our expedite guy Adrien has a work buddy from his last company know in the vegas valley as Fasteners that is ready to hop ship to us. Just waiting on the formalities an HR process to kick in and I'll be out of the truck and working on some actual pre-fab full time. Most of the underground pre-fab work is complete at this time for our current jobs, so focus is shifting to in building pre-fab, such as electrical boxes being prepped, floor boxes, etc. All there really is for this week!
Two months down! I was informed I would be getting sent to a nice P-Dub (Prevailing Wage) job soon, 99.9% chance it is Garside. Gonna be sweet, guys out there are really laid back and gonna be a great group to work with and learn alongside. Still driving this week, but that should change very soon with the new driver starting. In all honesty I am writing this as of Feb 3rd so memory is a bit lacking n what was done. I do know (based off my bank account) that this is when I started really getting some tools! While everyone and there grandchild is a fanboy of Milwaukee, I tend to do some more research before buying than most. I settled on Metabo tools for my power tools, which is a kick-ass German made brand that blows Milwaukee's socks off. Considering 99% of Milwaukee's lineup is China made at this point, they don't have a major selling point with me. Since Metabo acquired Hitachi and rebranded to Metabo HPT in North America, I chose their line of 36v Multi-Volt tools. So far, not a single Gen4 Milwaukee Impact or Driver has been able to outperform my Metabo HPT Impact and Driver, and let's not even try and saw Milwaukee has a better sawzall... Hand tool wise, I've been gathering a mass of Klein tools, and saving for some of that sweet sweet Knipex name. For those unfamiliar, Knipex makes the best damn plumber wrenches, pliers, wire strippers, etc. Nothing comes near them in terms of quality. The prices like the quality however, far exceed the competition making them a "work-up" too tool line.
A month down in 2024! The new driver starts this week, so thank the stars I can start helping around the shop more. Between driving pre-fab material to the sites I have been getting more hands on in the shop. The foreman RJ has taking a liking to my computer abilities and has me helping with getting the people in the shop set-up with what needs to get done and getting them the schematics. Some pretty damn hilarious work drama started when I introduced him to ChatGPT, but we will keep that within GSL... RJ asked me this week if I wanted to become his shop lead, but that was shut down pretty fast by the higher ups who are getting me to the field for some experience, and then moving me into the office as a Project Estimator or something similar. I'll be honest there is a lot I could do for GSL, from establishing a in-house IT team, to CAD designing, to general operational workflow establishment. One of these days in the far future I'll start dropping some of my suggestions, but for now most would go unheard as I'm just an apprentice. Once I get some time under my belt and show what I can do in the office I'll start with the suggestions. It's kind of like a product unveiling. I choose the road of Apple, and wait until the basics are established by others in a rough way, and then unveil the clean polished to the point version. Does that make sense? Going back to the CAD designs. We desperately need some better schematics. The amount of wasted time fixing hiccups that should not of been there, the amount of wasted material due to unclear schematics is kinda ridiculous. If four apprentices are working out the issues for 1 hour, with no pre-fab being done, that is equal to $100-$200 an hour of burnt money. If material is wasted, depending on the material in question, it could add up a lot quicker. When we have a influx of new people, there is not a systematic way of doing basic things. Such as cutting pvc, using zipties and other crap. If you walk around the GSL shop, there is strut clamps without nuts and bolts all over. Then go outside and nuts and bolts are all over the place. Waste is increasingly becoming common, as the practice is if you drop a nut or bolt when putting a strut clamp on, just grab another one. When cutting PVC, no one grabs for the scraps that have enough length to get the needed cut, they just grab new 20' pieces to make a 5' 3 7/16" cut or something. The PVC scraps are PILING up, either due to laziness, lack of training or both. GSL could save a fortune by just establishing some "best practices" and rules. I understand it is hard to do when you are in the swing of things, but during a slow down period these things should be discussed and established in my opinion. I was also told I'd be at the shop for a new more weeks and then be sent to Garside. All we are waiting for is ABCNevada to "formally" accept me into school so I am indentured and then I am outskiiz. Can start a whole new section on this webpage!