Seattle City (spot)Light introduces you to the people behind the scenes helping to power Seattle. This week in (spot)Light, learn about City Light’s Aaron Siller in his own words.
Aaron has been with City Light for eight years and is an electrician constructor crew chief assigned as a crew coordinator. He helps to manage projects at the North Service Center and North Stations, evaluates which equipment needs maintenance (and when) and determines crew availability for new and changing workloads.
Electrician Constructor Crew Chief Aaron Siller
There’s value having a trade. I figured once I had a trade, that’s something no one can take away. I started with City Light as an electrician constructor apprentice. I took the Beam Class, which is open to anybody who wants to get a basic understanding of electricity so you’re better prepared to apply if jobs become available. I felt preparation was important if I wanted to give it my best shot. Over 500 people applied for the apprenticeship, and I was one of only five selected. It’s a coveted job and there’s a lot of competition, so I was really excited. As an apprentice, you’re really there to learn, so I went through the four years of the program and learned all I could. Over the years I’ve been a journeyman, substation operation, and then was promoted to this position I’m in now. I get to work with three crews and like the planning and input aspect. I feel a sense of accomplishment when we complete projects that I’ve had a chance to be involved in.
I climbed Mount Rainer last year and do a lot of backpacking and hiking. It’s a challenge to push yourself and do something outside of the normal activities, and I like the thrill and adventure. I also spend a lot of time working on my house. It’s just little projects, nothing major. I’m working on a rooftop deck with an outdoor seating area. It’ll be cool when it’s done, but it’s a work-in-progress right now. I work around a lot of skilled craftsmen at City Light, so I picked up some techniques and am sort of self-taught. A lot of the constructors are ‘do-it-yourself’ type people – the kind of people who I can ask questions. A lot of them aren’t just electricians, they’re really handy at plumbing and woodwork and things. I’ve learned a lot from them.
There’s also a side of me that people don’t expect. I really like great food and wine. I think winemaking is really interesting, and the hands-on farming and blending is something I might like to do down the road.