Residential Wiring class amps up CaroMont Health Director’s DIY skills
Taking a class to learn a skill became an opportunity for Deon Lewis to give his fellow Gaston College students a chance to see first-hand how that skill is applied on a large scale. Lewis, the Director of Facility Services for CaroMont Health, and his son Andrew, a 2020 Gaston College graduate, enrolled together in the Residential Wiring class so they could become more adept at home wiring and electrical projects. “Andrew has always been my helper,” said Lewis. “He knew I was uncomfortable with home wiring and researched what was available through Gaston College, thinking some hands-on learning would help my confidence.”
The class, taught by Bill Leagon, gave Lewis and his son the information and training they were looking for. “Professor Leagon’s hands-on approach has really helped all of his students grow in their skillset, one that will be incredibly valuable to all of us, no matter the application we choose,” said Lewis.
The Residential Wiring and Commercial Wiring classes are offered through the Electrical Systems Technology program, which is chaired by Leagon. The program gives students in the program the option of earning an Associate in Applied Science degree, an Electrical Systems Technology diploma, or certificates in four concentrations—Photovoltaic, Residential Wiring, Industrial Wiring, and Renewable Energy. Gaston College has one of the few programs in the region to offer a specialized certificate in renewable energy.
Because the Electrical Systems Technology program offers both day and night classes, the Residential Wiring class worked with the Lewis’ schedules. At CaroMont Health, Deon Lewis is responsible for maintaining a hospital infrastructure and environment that supports safe patient care. CaroMont Health is in the process of constructing a new facility, CaroMont Regional Medical Center-Belmont, that is scheduled to open in 2023. The project is in a phase of construction where one can see the build-out of the Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing systems—the infrastructure that supports a hospital. “Knowing that Professor Leagon teaches both the residential and commercial wiring classes,” Lewis said, “I thought there would be value in the students seeing the project in its current state. Also, I wanted them to see and realize all the different and varied trades that go into building and maintaining a hospital.”
Lewis organized a recent tour of the hospital’s new construction site for a group of nine students, including his son. The students donned hardhats and safety vests and spent two hours touring the site. “The students got to see a large commercial electrical installation from the beginning,” said Bill Leagon. “This was a valuable opportunity for them to understand how the wiring methods and theories I teach in the classroom are applied on a large scale and the amount of effort that goes into a project of this size.”
Hosting fellow students on the construction site tour for the new state-of-the-art facility was gratifying for Lewis, and he is also grateful that taking the Residential Wiring class enhanced his DIY skills. “With the knowledge I gained in class, I was able to see what I had done wrong with a troublesome three-way switch and correct it in a few minutes—it was a great feeling,” he said. “I am appreciative to Gaston College for educating not just those seeking degrees, but anyone who wants to continue to learn important and valuable skills.”
For more information about the Gaston College Electrical Systems Technology program, visit gaston.edu/electrical-systems.