In this series, we’re introducing you to our real-world-experienced instructor team and what drives them to teach electrical workers of all experience levels.
Throughout Bob Clukey’s tenure at TPC Training, he has had the opportunity to teach courses at the Pentagon, Camp David, and many manufacturing facilities including Tesla and Amazon. He enjoys teaching at smaller facilities and at public seminars, because part of what drives him as an instructor is figuring out what his students need in order to be successful when they’re back on the job.
Clukey’s electrical career started in the late 1970s as a journeyman and then master electrician in Maine. He spent time in construction, working on a variety of projects, including hospitals. He started teaching at an electrical program in the public school system in the mid-80s in order to raise a family, and during that time he earned a Bachelor’s degree in education and started his own business.
“As a master electrician in Maine, I was working from 3 a.m. until after dark. Teaching was much more conducive to raising a family. With summers off, we could vacation, and I had time to coach football and basketball while running my own electrical business.”
The Clukeys moved to Georgia in 2005, and in 2007, Bob’s wife found a job posting, for the instructor position at TPC.
Tenure at TPC
Clukey enjoys teaching a wide variety of electrical courses at TPC, including every electrical topic offered in the instructor-led training division. He brings his expertise to subjects ranging from troubleshooting to electrical safety, the NEC, motors, generators, and everything in between.
“Bob has been crucial in writing and building our National Electrical Code and NFPA 70E Arc Flash Electrical Safety courses each 3-year code cycle and has produced many tailored custom courses to industry customers,” said Ryan Smith, Director of Technical Content at TPC.
After 15 years as an electrical instructor at TPC, Clukey still takes time to work in the field — no surprise given his credentials. He holds many professional licenses, including Journeyman and Master Electrician in Maine and Massachusetts, E1 Unlimited Contractor in Connecticut, Journeyman Electrician in Rhode Island, and Electrician in Georgia.
Ultimately, Clukey is driven by more than just the puzzles of electrical troubleshooting or the creative process of teaching.
The Rewards of Teaching
Interacting with students is part of what drives Clukey to be an excellent teacher. He approaches each new group by identifying their knowledge and skill levels right away and then works to improve their skills so they feel confident they’ve reached the next level as electrical workers. “It’s self-rewarding,” Clukey said. “I teach a lot of electrical safety and I am hoping that makes a difference in the trade through reducing incidents. That is a very fulfilling aspect of my job,” he continued.
Seeing his students succeed is a different kind of reward that fuels Clukey. As a public school teacher, Clukey’s traditional farewell to his graduating technical students was predicting their future. One notable student grew up in similar circumstances as Clukey did. They were both raised by single mothers who had to work for everything; both were hard workers, and Clukey predicted this particular student would make a lot of money in the future. In January, nearly 40 years later, this student tracked down Clukey — through the school in Maine, all the way to his current hometown in Georgia through Clukey’s electrical license — and invited him to dinner. The student was recently retired as a multi-millionaire, having earned over $12 million, and catching up with and thanking Clukey was a bucket list item he was thrilled to cross off his list.
Life as a Different Kind of Mentor
Outside of his teaching and technical careers, Clukey and his wife are currently raising their middle school aged granddaughters, whom they’ve adopted. He’s proud of the people they’re becoming. One is a skilled as a singer, and the other is heading into a middle school engineering program. “I hope to plant a seed in these two girls so they will be fruitful and successful citizens of the U.S.,” Clukey said.
Interested in learning more about courses taught by Bob or other members of our electrical instruction team? Check out our electrical instructor-led training offerings.