Adrien Livingston is Awarded the 2020 NETCO Leadership Excellence Award

May 5, 2021

The National Electrical Trade Council Presents Annual 2021 Leadership Excellence Award to British Columbia Training Trailblazer

For Immediate Release

May 5 – 2021

Today is day 1 of the National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) virtual conference that is hosting leaders in the electrical industry from across the country for two days of education and a virtual trade show.

As part of its annual conference, NETCO awards a deserving individual the Leadership Excellence Award. This was presented today as part of our conference to Adrien Livingston, Executive Director of Training for the Western Joint Electrical Training Society from Delta, British Columbia.

Livingston was recognized for his tireless efforts in creating a program to bring Indigenous youth, new Canadians, women, and other individuals that normally face barriers into the electrical construction apprenticeship as part of the creation of the Workplace Alternative Training Program (WATT).

The virtual recognition included messages of congratulations from several industry stakeholders including Phil Venoit, Business Manager/Financial Secretary of IBEW 230 in Victoria, British Columbia.

“The work put in to bring the WATT Program to life, literally continues to change lives every day for people without the program, who would likely not have the capability or the supports to enter into our great trade. These individuals owe their new life-changing career to Adrien’s vision and work.

This is unmistakably the mark of a true leader” said Veniot.

NETCO Executive Director Melissa Young was very pleased with the nomination and selection of Livingston and said his recognition could not be timelier based on the shortage of skilled trades professionals facing the entire country. “On behalf of NETCO we are so pleased to honour Adrien with this award. The WATT program aligns with the values and goals NETCO has in place when it comes to educating the next generation of the electrical industry including an emphasis on those who face barriers, and we could not be happier to see him celebrated today,” said Young.

Over the last two years, WATT has had 120 new students as part of their programming and 93% have been registered into the Electrical construction apprentice program attending Camosun College, Vancouver Island University and North Island College. The program has been very well received and will be emulated for other construction trades by the Vancouver Island Building Trades and Construction Union in partnership with the Provincial Government’s “Back to Work” Program.

The WATT Program provides for pre-apprentices their own tools, work boots, coveralls, essentially everything they need to begin work without the additional out of pocket expenses including lodging for out-of-town students, that could limit many with limited resources from entering the skilled trades.

WATT arms pre-apprentices with 5 essential safety courses, WHMIS, Ariel Work Platform, First Aid, Fall Arrest, and site ready lock-out/ tag-out. It then offers 3 weeks of practical shop experience, so they are ready to perform basic tasks from day one on the job. Once ready, students are placed at one of 38 construction contractors on the Island.  Students are then monitored for their progress bi-monthly, registered for school and provided with schoolbooks and bursaries with each passing school year.

About the Western JETS

The Western Joint Electrical Training Society is responsible for the training of the electrical specialists employed by all signatory contractors of IBEW Local Unions 230, 993, 1003 which covers Vancouver Island, Northern BC and the Yukon and the Kootenays.

About the NETCO Leadership Excellence Award.

Established in 2016, the NETCO Leadership Excellence award honours an industry training professional for his/her role for the success and their outstanding contributions to apprenticeship training and continuing electrical training. An industry training professional is defined as an individual who is involved with or supports apprenticeship training and continuing electrical training by virtue of his/her organization who has assisted and promoted education. Recipients of the Leadership Excellence Award demonstrate inspirational leadership to others.

Past Recipients of The Leadership Excellence Award include:

  • 2019: Chris Taran, RSE, Director of Apprenticeship and Training, Vice President (IBEW Local 2085)
  • 2018: Kelly Kienleitner, RSE, Chief Instructor, Electrical Joint Training Committee (IBEW Local 213 & ECABC)
  • 2017: Andre (Andy) Cleven, RSE, Training Director, Electrical Joint Training Committee (IBEW Local 213 & ECABC)
  • 2017: Peter Olders, RSE, Training Coordinator, Ontario Electrical Industry Training Trust Fund (ECAO & IBEW-CCO)
  • 2016: Raymond Matthews, RSE, Provincial Training Director, Electrical Industry Training Centres of Alberta (IBEW Local 424 & ECAA)
  • 2016: Robert Nelson, RSE, Senior Electrical Consultant, CSA Group


Media Inquiries:

Denise Miller

Communications & Marketing Coordinator