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Our Story

When I finished high school in 1999, I didn’t want to go to college and do more school. I had already been cutting grass and working odd jobs. I was ready to make money. I decided I wanted to be an electrician, so I pulled out the yellow pages and called every electrical company in the county. Only one called me back. I went to work for Gardner Electric in Talladega.

Mr Gardner gave me a much needed chance. He brought me to a house and gave me the materials, after about 30 minutes of instruction, he left. At the end of the day he came back and told me that he knew I was going to mess up, but that I needed to figure it out. He pointed out the mistakes I made and helped me fix them before we left that day. The first day, I worked from 4 to 8 without pay (fixing my mistakes). After that, he repeated the process, came back at 4pm and we were out by 5pm.  It was a learning experience and I’m very grateful for that experience. That’s how I started learning to become an electrician.

After that summer I tried to join the US Coast Guard. While working in Talladega one day, I had been stung by a wasp and had a reaction to it. I ended up being discharged other than honorable after 2 weeks of basic training. After that, I set a goal on trying to work for Alabama Power. Temporarily, I went to work for Cadell Construction, where I was trying to transition from contractor to full time for Alabama Power. 

During that time I got a call from a friend working inside Home Depot, doing electrical work, for a company out of Atlanta.  It was hanging display lights and merchandising. I almost didn’t take it, thinking it was a scam. After less than a year, I was district manager with 17 stores, 12 employees, and a territory that covered most of Alabama, some of Tennessee and Georgia. 

When the economy tanked in 2009, that company went under and I had to take a job running the electrical department at a Home Depot store. It was a learning experience and helped me fine tine my customer service and product knowledge. I also learned a lot about corporate management, HR issues, and business structure. I am grateful for the experience but I wasn’t as happy as I was when I was a hands on electrician.

I ended up having to leave Home Depot due to scheduling issues and becoming a full time single dad of two children. I took another job as an apartment maintenance man for a year before I got back into the electrical world. I moved back to Childersburg and worked for Craft HVAC & Electrical. Gary is like a second father to me and a great mentor. He allowed me to run a truck for 5 years, doing new construction and service work.

I got remarried and wanted to make more money.  I worked at a few different electrical companies over the next few years.  They all gave me a unique insight on how to run a business. Fast forward to 2019, I decided to go on my own.  Gary gave me the necessary paperwork documenting my history to go get my license. During the process, my team and I worked with Engel Services.  

As of February of 2021, after going through the process and being delayed by covid, I am now a licensed master electrician. I owe Mr. Gardner a great deal for teaching me the trade and I feel like it’s only fair that I share this story on this page.  Thank you for reading my story and thank you to everyone that helped me along the way.


Jason Shell – Owner