Page 8 - Scene Magazine 4501 January 2020
P. 8

Did You Know?BY KATHY BANFIELD SHAWman’s license without incurring student loan debt? Sounds good doesn’t it?John Banks, owner of MotorShop Electrical Construction Company right here in Battle Creek sits on the Appren- ticeship Committee of the Battle Creek Electrical Joint Apprentice and Training Collaboration ( and has the privilege of evaluating people who choose to be an apprentice in the Battle Creek area. John, a long-time member of the International Brother- hood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union, Local 445, and a proud “gradu- ate” of apprenticeship training, believes being an intern and apprentice allows young people to learn about the skilled trade they want to make their future career.the university and met a Kellogg’s em- ployee who urged him to meet and talk with a human resource representative at Kellogg’s. Three weeks later John started an internship at Kellogg’s in the engineering department that led to him understanding how much he enjoyed working with his hands and his career change to all things electrical.John is from the Flint area, a grad- uate of Flint Northern High School,and his high school advisor and others thought he should take advantage of his good grades and aptitude to enroll at the University of Michigan... which he did. “When it came time to sign the papers for the loan to pay for it all,” John said, “There was no way I could sign my name to that amount of debt when I knew I had no way of paying it back!” He then participated in a career day atAfter completing his apprenticeship John worked for a couple of different companies specializing in electrical construction, and now, he owns those companies. He came away from the experience of not signing the loan for student debt to a new understanding, “Don’t let the amount of money keep you from a good decision.” He believed he was buying a great company and with his work ethic he would find the money to make his dream possible... and it happened.John is a great advocate for the apprenticeship program. “I believe in leaving something sustainable for the future, for them.” He also believes that an applicant must be willing to have ‘skin in the game.’ The program isn’t free. “You have to be willing to give something up to do this,” he says, “but as a reward, you see the physical result at the end of the day.”Did you know there is an estab- lished program that promotes training to be an electrician and when the five- year apprenticeship is complete the result is a journey-benefits of the apprenticeship expe- rience is the idea of ‘earn while you learn.’ Most people believe you need a college education to begin your career but that education must be paid for. An apprenticeship allows the person to train for the job or career desired and earn a living at the same time,” he told me.Another benefit John believes materialized with the Kellogg’s in- ternship was moving to Battle Creek.“I was fortunate to meet and marry Bridget,” John says as he showed me her picture, which has a prominent spot on his desk. “We celebrated our 30th anniversary this year on October 14, Bridget’s birthday.” John went on totell me how much he really loves Battle Creek. “People come together to get things done,” he says. “There’s a spirit... a feeling that this city just doesn’t give up.” John told me that once he bought the business he decided, “I’m invested in this community.” I think he’s proven his point. He’s active with his church, Maranatha Original Church of God, Binder Park Zoo board, Battle Creek Unlimited, current president of Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce board, the Finance Committee of Battle Creek Community Foundation and president of the Michigan chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association.John BanksEver the advocate of the apprentice program John tells me, “One of the269-965-2979www.shawcommunication.comT. R. Shaw Jr. Co-Founder / CEO / 269-209-5555 cell / Kathy Shaw Co-Founder / President / 269-209-9719 cell / KSBANFSH@gmail.com8 SCENE 4501 I MEN IN BUSINESSYou can see the result of John’s work all over town. The MotorShop Electrical Contracting Company has been traced back to 1915 here in Battle Creek, soit joins a number of local companies who’ve made Battle Creek their home for over a century.John can be found behind his desk at 968-2241... but he’s more likely at a job site, or in a board meeting at one of those community organizations he so strongly believes in.

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