5 Oct 17
Five Questions with Klein Tools’ Electrician of the Year Finalist (and Tenacious Tester™) Kevin Wick
Even if they don’t know him, it’s safe to say the residents of North St. Paul, Minnesota, get a charge out of Kevin Wick. Besides being fun and amiable, the Tenacious Tester™ has been a lineman and master electrician for the City of North Saint Paul Electric Utilities for more than three decades. He builds and repairs power lines and substations, repairs storm damage, works on wells and lift stations, and does building electrical maintenance.
And this summer, he was the Region 3 Winner (ND, SD, Minn., Wisc., Ill., Ind., Mich., Ohio and Ken.) and third-place finisher in Klein Tools’ 2017 Electrician of the Year contest. Six regional finalists were chosen based on their dedication and time given to their communities, jobsite safety and professional achievement. Each winner won the “Ultimate Garage Package” and received additional prizes based on where they finished.
They also won a free trip to Texas for a jam-packed, fun-filled weekend. The group visited the Klein Tools manufacturing plant in Mansfield, and bonded as, among other things, they:
- Visited Billy Bob’s, the world’s largest honkey-tonk
- Watch longhorn cattle drives at the Stockyards
- Explored the city of Dallas
Once he returned from the Lone Star State, Kevin sat down to answer a few of our questions:
HOW WAS YOUR TRIP TO TEXAS?
KW: It was a great experience. This may sound cheesy, but I really miss those guys. We got along so well, it felt like we had known each other our whole lives. There was always something to talk about and we laughed a lot. Every one of those guys deserve to be Electrician of the Year. Just a very genuine group of average Joes who work hard to get the job done not only right but also safely.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
KW: I’ve been a journeyman lineman for 33 years and I’ve had my electrician’s license for 17. It’s a good job, but it’s hard work and it’ll keep you in shape.
HOW HAS WORKPLACE SAFETY CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
KW: Years ago, we worked in our everyday clothes. But today, we wear approved safety gear – from our hard hats to our boots. The tools really haven’t changed much, but there’s a lot of safety equipment on our trucks that we didn’t have 30 years ago. I was on a safety committee for nine years. That is always priority number one – safety.
YOU COULD BE RETIRED TODAY, BUT YOU’RE STILL WORKING. WHY?
KW: Because we’re hiring young guys that need training – and there’s no one to train them without us old guys there.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BE A TENACIOUS TESTER™?
KW: I want to stay on top of new safety and work gear to show my friends and coworkers. I like receiving free gear and perfecting your products. I’m always seeking out products that are better than what I currently have.
Want to be a Tenacious Tester™ like Kevin? Apply today!