March 28, 2022

“Back to School” Takes on New Meaning

Who says you can never go home again. 

Not Taylor Richardson and Tyler Deader. The Hiller Electric Company journeyman and apprentice have returned to Building Omaha’s Electrical Training Center to work on its 24,000-square foot expansion. Richardson graduated from the apprenticeship program four years ago; Deader is currently in the first year of his five-year program.  

Deader, an Omaha native, says there is a “sense of pride and ownership” in applying what he has learned the past year in the very building he attends classes two nights a week. It’s personal, and he is proud to help build – literally – an organization that is providing him a means to a meaningful and interesting career.

Richardson agrees. He sees his mentorship role as a way to give back to the next class of future journeymen as well as his alma mater. 

Journeymen are the most skilled electricians. Their training is extensive. Richardson says it’s his job to help Deader and his other apprentices to not only learn the necessary skills to be successful journeymen but to also learn what to do – and not to do – to remain safe. 

“Now it is my turn to pass on the knowledge I have acquired,” says Richardson.  




Deader is enrolled in the commercial apprenticeship program, which lasts for five years (as opposed to the three-year residential apprenticeship program). During the day, he works with Richardson on various projects. This on-the-job training is one of the strengths of the program, he says.

“I’m learning every single day, and every day is different. No two days are the same,” Deader says. 

In addition to this experiential learning, the apprenticeship program includes classroom instruction. Two nights a week licensed journeymen, including Richardson, teach the theory behind the applied skills.  

But it’s not all lectures and desk work. Classroom instruction also includes hands-on project work, like pipe bending. Deader says it gives students the chance to mess up and figure out how to fix mistakes in a setting that isn’t a work site. 

“It’s not practice makes perfect. It’s practice makes permanent,” he says. 



Richardson attended college for one year and then worked as a delivery man before following in his families’ footsteps to become a journeyman. He believes there are many good reasons to join the apprenticeship program and even more reasons why an electrical career is a great choice:


  • ON-THE-JOB TRAINING that is PAID FOR, which means…
  • You graduate with NO DEBT but VALUABLE SKILLS
  • Great HOURS, PAY, and BENEFITS
  • VARIETY of jobs
  • JOB SECURITY – the is a projected shortage of skilled electricians that needs to be filled

“Don’t be afraid to go outside the norm,” says Deader. “I went to college and now I am an apprentice and happy.”


National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Works (IBEW) partner to form Building Omaha, a nonprofit organization that provides customers with the highest level of trained professionals in the electrical industry. 

Hiller Electric is a member of NECA and the main electrical contractor working on the Building Omaha Electrical Training Center addition. It is also a long-time supporter of the apprenticeship program, providing apprentices employment during their training and supplying journeymen as their instructors. Building Omaha is very grateful.