For Dave McGoogan, his path to becoming an electrician started with a simple idea – helping his family. As one of eight siblings, money was tight growing up. He recalls overhearing his parents discussing the need for electrical repairs around their house.
“I had brothers that did flooring and were carpenters,” McGoogan said. “I can remember thinking ‘Nobody does electrical work. I’m going to do that, so my parents don’t have to pay to get that done.”
Thirty years later, McGoogan continues to make strides as a journeyman electrician for “Joe” Dickey Electric. He also vividly remembers his time as an apprentice.
“When I first started, I was really nervous about things that I was doing,” he said. “Probably like most apprentices feel. Over the years, you just realize ‘I’m gonna go out and figure this out.’”
VIDEO: Dave McGoogan discusses his path to becoming a journeyman electrician
In addition to his electrician duties, McGoogan is a part-time instructor at the Youngstown Area Electrical JATC, and relishes the opportunity to work with apprentices.
“One of the things I like to do is help people find their way,” McGoogan said. “Helping apprentices find their way into the trade and be comfortable with what they are doing. That’s one of the things I enjoy the most.”
McGoogan feels there are two defining factors that set union electrician apprentices apart from others in the field.
“Attitude and training. The hands-on experience is miles ahead.”
Over his career, McGoogan has worked on countless projects. One that has given him a great sense of pride is his work on the Youngstown JATC building.
“When I was asked to do it, I was a little concerned. Afterwards when I got started, I really enjoyed it. It was quite the project and I had fun with it.”
Another memorable project for McGoogan was working on the AT&T Tower on the campus of Youngstown State University, where he was 175 feet in the air.
“It was quite a way up,” McGoogan chuckled.
McGoogan is also active with his church, Victory Christian Center, and in his community. A few years ago, he pondered how he could give back some of his time. He decided to run for Crestview Board of Education.
Now in his fourth year, McGoogan is asked to serve on sub-committees. He is currently involved with the Columbiana County Business Advisory Council, which helps students prepare for life after high school.
“Anytime I can teach or help somebody, that’s what it’s all about.”
With many time-consuming priorities, McGoogan places an emphasis on making time for his family. McGoogan has been married to his wife, Allyson, for 28 years and has two sons, Joshua and Dale. Joshua is his third year at Youngstown State University studying mechanical engineering and was the first Mahoning Valley LMCC Scholarship winner. Dale is a sophomore at Crestview High School where he excels in the classroom and athletics.
“I have two of the best kids in the world,” McGoogan exclaimed.
For those interested in joining the electrical trade, McGoogan has some simple advice.
“You’re always challenged, and you always have to think. It’s a rewarding career.”