David Ross, ISD #271 Bloomington Schools
For this month’s Member Spotlight, we are proud to feature David Ross, Master of Record and Construction Project Supervisor for ISD #271 Bloomington Schools.
What drew you to the industry and made you want to become an electrician?
When I was a kid, my uncle worked for NSP, now Xcel Energy. He brought home a discarded fluke meter and gave it to me. I was fascinated by it. Also, my grandfather was a part-time house builder, and I spent a lot of time with him. I was always drawn to mechanical things and how they worked. So that’s what got me started and it just grew from there.
After graduating from St. Thomas Academy, I went to UMD for a short while, but returned to the Twin Cities and attended Dunwoody. I was accepted into the Electrical Construction and Maintenance Program and the rest is history. Once I graduated in 1988, I got a job working in the trade and I never left.
Bloomington Schools has been a member for 11 years. What do you value most about the Electrical Association?
The training. The Association has been really flexible with us in getting instructors that we gel with, and bringing a trainer onsite to make it work with our complicated schedule. I don’t know of anyone else that’s doing that. There probably are some, but you guys do it really well and I appreciate it greatly. It’s affordable, it’s awesome training and the flexibility is probably the most important thing for me.
What are some of your greatest work accomplishments?
One of the things I’m most proud of is we were able to put a training program in place to get my current partner, Justin Blessing, from a building engineer to a licensed journeyman. It was a lot of effort, but I was happy to do it. He used the Electrical Association’s Apprentice Training Program, and put in the time. I think it’s pretty fantastic that we were able to do that in-house. (Note: Justin passed his exam on the first attempt!)
Also, when I first started here at the District 17 years ago, one of the things that was severely lacking was our backup power. We have a lot of power outages here in Bloomington and they had been able to obtain a generator, but that was as far as they’d gotten. We’re now able to hook that generator up to all but one of our buildings. We can go from power out, to power on with the generator, safely with a transfer switch, in about an hour. As a matter of fact, I just had to use one of the transfer switches recently with the storms that went through here!
What are some of your favorite hobbies and how do you like to spend your free time?
I like things from the past, and have two Model A Fords that I’ve restored, a 1928 and a 1929. Since those projects are mostly done, I’ve also started collecting old tools and vices to restore. Outside of that, it’s time with family. My wife, Kimberly, and I have been married for 27 years and we have two adult children and two grandchildren. We enjoy spending time with them whenever we can.