Since he was just a child, Wayne Rhodes has displayed the values of New River Electrical by providing the best quality of work possible. There’s no doubt that Wayne was destined to be at NRE!
Molded By Wisdom
Wayne Rhodes is a proud 1999 graduate of William Fleming High School. As a Fleming Colonel, he had the opportunity to take classes like Construction Technology which taught him the basic skills of electrical, masonry, carpentry, and welding. He shared that he especially loved learning about electrical and welding. “This class helped me to decide what I wanted to shoot for in life,” Wayne said.
After Wayne finished high school, he enrolled in a 5-year apprenticeship program at the IBEW 26 (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 26). Wayne worked during the day and went to school two nights a week. In regard to his time in the program, he said, “I learned a lot from the more experienced guys, their wisdom and teachings helped mold me into the leader I am today.”
In 2009, Wayne began his journey with New River Electrical. He started as a wireman and worked his way up within the company. “Three years into the job, NRE offered me an opportunity to be a foreman.” Wayne has worked on multiple small-scale projects and he’s helped complete bigger projects like the 765kV yard in Cloverdale, Virginia. He said “I’ve traveled to Oklahoma and Texas to work on RTU upgrades with AEP, and in 2017, I worked on the Washington D.C. waterfront project (GIS substation). That job was a great learning experience.” Currently, Wayne is the General Foreman of the Takoma Park capital grid project in Maryland.
Safety and Satisfaction
When asked about what a typical week at NRE looks like, Wayne said “It’s constantly busy, busy, busy, so my mind is always on the go!” He often spends his time looking over prints and trying to stay ahead of the curve. Wayne noted that one of the biggest parts of his job is making sure the customers, the bosses, and the workers are all happy. That also entails presenting high-quality work. “We go to apprenticeship programs to train and make sure we do the work right and have it looking good.”
But keeping everyone out of harm’s way is Wayne’s top priority in every project he’s on. “Maintaining the safety protocols put in place is always at the forefront of my mind. From the moment I walk onto the job site, to the time I get back in the truck, I ensure that my coworkers and I return home to our families the same way we left them.” Getting everyone home safe is the most important thing, hands down.
Wayne’s safety-first attitude and drive to provide stellar solutions are a direct reflection of the culture here at New River. We believe that to put our best foot forward, we must put an emphasis on protecting our staff.
Above and Beyond
Something that stands out about Wayne is his strong work ethic. He happily shared that his mother was the one who instilled this sense of diligence in him when he was younger. “I always strive to do the best I can do, even since I was a little kid. My mom made me this way.” To Wayne, his mom was like his customer. She would give him chores to do at home, and if something wasn’t done right the first time, Wayne would have to put in the effort and do it again until it was done right. He has carried that mentality with him all these years, which has helped him excel at NRE.
Wayne shared that the most valuable thing he’s learned while working at NRE is how to communicate. When he first started with the company, he realized not everybody understands tasks the same way he does. “I had to learn how to explain things more in detail to workers. That way we are all on the same page and the task gets done correctly the first time.”
Looking back on his time here at New River, Wayne said, “I love doing my job. I’ve been doing it for 22 years now, and I’m not looking to stop anytime soon.” One of his favorite parts of working here is the ability to constantly learn new things, like how we’re using the new systems of the GISs (gas-insulated substations).
Livin’ For the Weekend
On the weekend, Wayne likes to take some time for himself. “I always get up early Saturday morning to get my haircut. After that, I go to First Watch to grab some food,” he said. Once he gets his breakfast (Blueberry Griddle Cakes to be exact!), he likes to head over to his mom’s house to help her with any chores. For the rest of his weekend, Wayne loves to spend time with his wife and kids and catch up on any shows like Power, Yellow Stone, ATL, Mayans, and Animal Kingdom.
Wayne is such an asset to the New River team, we are so happy to have him here! We appreciate his commitment and all the hard work he’s done through the years.