Blake Erickson is an Iowa Central Community College sophomore from Webster City, whose interests range from electrical wiring to electric guitars. Now in the second year of the Electrical Technology program at Iowa Central he will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science Degree next spring.
Erickson's interests in electricity, sound and music have already taken him to Minneapolis, Las Vegas and back to Iowa. At 23 he's married and ready to move into the job market. ``Hopefully somewhere in the Fort Dodge area in an industrial electrician setting,'' he said.
He earned a two-year degree in audio engineering and music production from a specialized college in Minneapolis, but found that there is a wider choice of opportunities in electrical than there are in the recording industry. The Electrical Technololgy program at Iowa Central came about because area employers were in need of people with skills to fill those kinds of positions.
Blake Erickson is glad to be back in Iowa and at Iowa Central Community College.
Erickson still isn't about to abandon his music career. He plays bass guitar in `Vinyl', a Fort Dodge-based classic rock band with his wife Shelly, Marcus Anderson, Justin Cramer and Zach Davis.
``I guess I'm kind of a Renaissance man in that I dabble in music, art and electronics,'' Erickson said. An avid reader, he also applies his writing skills with Iowa Central's award-winning student newspaper, `The Collegian'.
``I've thought about using my degree to get into a business that combines music and electronics, like repair work for guitars or getting my own studio going or something like that," said Erickson. "Right now I teach guitar lessons and play in the band. It's a part time job, but it's very enjoyable for me.''
Iowa Central's Electrical Technology program has been on the rise for some time now. Led by program coordinator Mike Brueschke, it was recently named the Iowa Community College Program of the Year by the Iowa Industrial Technology Education Association (IITEA).
Erickson hopes the electrical field is a recession proof employment area. ``That's one of the reasons I picked this field because there should always be a need for electricians,'' he said.
``I am really glad to be back in Iowa, back here at Iowa Central and I look forward to working in this area when I'm done,'' Erickson said.
In many ways, he already is.
Bill McIntyre is Communications Coordinator and journalism instructor and adviser at Iowa Central Community College.