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August 18, 2020

Celebrating ABCSD's Class of 2020

Many of us are conditioned from a young age by parents and teachers to go to college.  The push is premised on the idea that college is the best path to ensure personal prosperity.  However, I suggest college is not for everyone.  There are other paths to personal development and career opportunity.  A large and growing percentage of college graduates are finding themselves with heavy debt and not a single prospect to that dream job.  We have alternatives.  ABCSD provides a viable option through its apprenticeship programs.  These programs offer a cost-effective educational opportunity to train and prepare individuals for successful and prosperous careers. ​


As ABC San Diego’s current board chairman of the Apprenticeship Trust and the director of human resources for Helix Electric, I recognize the importance and value of training skilled professionals to meet the increasing demands of our industry. 

Our efforts are building a stronger and more capable workforce for the betterment of our industry, and our community.  I am proud of the individuals who have dedicated themselves to a rigorous training program while working a full-time job.  They not only gain a career; they gain the confidence to set goals and work toward them with a great deal of professional and personal satisfaction.  

I, along with ABC San Diego staff, am proud to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s graduating class.  This is the largest group of students we have seen in the history of ABC San Diego. 116 students total have worked diligently over the last four years and today demonstrate mastery of complex materials and skills.  They represent five craft professions, plumbing, pipefitting, electrical, electronic systems technician, and sheet metal.  All have successfully completed a state and federally approved apprenticeship program or craft training program.  Of the 116 graduates, fifteen received special recognition for Academic Achievement earning a straight-A average for all four years, thirteen for Perfect Attendance with no absences from any class or lab work, and three outstanding graduates who accomplished both Academic Achievement and Perfect Attendance.  

The Class of 2020 has demonstrated resilience and perseverance.  These individuals pushed through challenging times with the outbreak of COVID-19.  They returned from spring break and immediately stepped back into classes, not in a familiar classroom setting, but virtually for their last semester.  They completed their remaining lab times, having their temperatures checked, and practicing physical distancing.  They finished strong.  Nearly all of them are currently working full-time in their chosen fields.  Today they are free of student loans.  All have earned college credits which can be applied toward an Associate of Science Degree.  Many will advance in their careers as foreman, field supervisors, project managers, several will own their own construction business.  Through their education with ABCSD’s Apprenticeship and Craft Training programs, the doors for opportunity are wide open.

One of our graduates, Chandler Ferguson, summed it up nicely “I preach, go to school, do it now!  I am the only one who went through it. If you are willing to take your career seriously and you are willing to go to school, the sky is the limit”

Congratulations to ABCSD’s Class of 2020!


Dru Wells
Chairman, ABC San Diego Training Trust Board
Director of Human Resources, Helix Electric

Dru is the Director of Human Resources at Helix Electric and is the chair of the ABC San Diego Training Trust Board.  

ABCSD  I  13825 Kirkham Way Poway, CA 92064  I  Tel: 858.513.4700  I  Fax: 858.513.2373  I  I

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