Future’s So Bright For These Twin Sisters

Career and Technical School student Quinn Rickard cuts wires with a hand-held tool.
Electrical Trades students, such as Schalmont junior Quinn Rickard, learn basic electrical skills, while progressing to the cutting edge of 21st-century green technologies.

Twins Quinn and Sydney Rickard are headed for a bright future.

The Schalmont Central School District juniors, who attend our Electrical Trades program, have set their collective sights on careers as union electricians.

“It’s fun. I like working with my hands and working with electricity,” said Sydney.

The Rickards are charting a non-traditional path for themselves in a program of study and a career that is largely dominated by males. Approximately three percent of 750,000 electricians in the United States are female and only a handful of young women currently enroll each year in our Electrical Trades program. However, the path that led the Rickards to this trade is as traditional as it gets.

Career and Technical School student Sydney Rickard holds wires in her hand.
Sydney Rickard and her classmates are gaining the skills and an in-depth understanding needed for success in the in-demand field of electrical trades.

“Our father and our brother are both electricians,” Quinn said. “Our brother, Calvin, graduated from here and he told us how great the program is, how great the teachers are.”

Their passion for working with electricity was fostered at an early age by their father who works with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

“Our dad would take us on his side jobs with him. He would have us help him with small stuff… It was exciting and fun,” said Sydney.

The young women praise the Capital Region BOCES program and teachers John Puglisi, Jeff Hayes and teaching assistant Rich LaTorre.

“The teachers are great. They tell us how it is, give us helpful feedback and tell us how it will be in the real world, which I really appreciate,” Quinn said.

“The fact that it’s hands on and that we will be able to create our own labs to work on next year is really exciting. It makes the learning fun,” added Sydney.