by Anastasia Button
When attending school in Grand County, there is a large sentiment among students to leave a small town lifestyle and explore life elsewhere. Leaving can include attending university, taking a job in another state, or volunteering abroad. However, there is a good percentage of past Grand County students who return after years away, seeking intimate community and beautiful environments.
Bryan Klotz is one of the many graduates of West Grand High School who left Kremmling in search of different adventures.
“My wife (then girlfriend) Brittany and I went to venture off on our own for a while and moved to Minnesota for 4 years. Then we dropped everything and moved back to Colorado where I joined the National Guard out of Pueblo. Military
was a huge option for me and something I always wanted to do.”
Bryan joined the National Guard as a Communications COMSEC attached to the 470 Artillery Brigade based in Pueblo, Colorado, where he served for 8 years. Simultaneously, Bryan looked for a full-time job that could be flexible with National Guard duty and training. Electrical work seemed to be the most optimal profession and the most natural,
“I’m an electrician, and that’s what I wanted to be.” This passion led Bryan to work for The Industrial Company (TIC) as an Industrial Electrician working in remote locations between Colorado and Wyoming.
While working with TIC he was able to join the apprenticeship program, “It was the greatest stepping stone in my life. It was the opportunity to obtain my Journeyman’s license. It took 4 years of school with TIC and I was at the top of my class for the whole duration. I got working knowledge that I can use for the rest of my lift. I am really grateful for the opportunity there.”
Bryan’s talents have not gone unnoticed. In 2015, Bryan was selected to compete at the ABC National Craft Championships in Ft Lauderdale, Florida where top electrical apprentices in the country compete.
Bryan’s career was scaling quickly but something was missing. Kremmling kept calling Bryan and his family back. Bryan called up his step-father, Doug Prewitt of Grand Power, in Kremmling, Colorado, “Doug and I always talked about Grand Power needing a good journeyman. This was the perfect opportunity to be back in Kremmling. Doug and I partnered up, and I’ve now been with Grand Power for 3 years.”
Bryan has some big dreams for the future of Grand Power which include the addition of managing electricians with crews of their own so they can fulfill the expanding needs of their customers. Bryan recently brought on a couple of apprentices that
are both 2019 and 2020 graduates of West Grand High School.
United States labor statistics (2019) show that skilled tradesmen have been on a steady decline for years. A contributing factor to the decline is disengaged mentorship and apprenticeship. It is inspiring to have a community member like Bryan who is taking initiative to increase his influence as a Journeyman to mentor young and local talent, helping to bring the skilled trades back to good health.
Visiting Bryan at the Kum & Go station in Kremmling to take some action shots of him as a Journeyman, I was introduced to his leadership style. Grand Power’s recently acquired apprentice and 2020 West Grand High graduate Jake Cameron was on-site, aiding in electrical work, and Bryan’s leadership spirit was very inspirational. He was calm, focused, but patient and instructive. Willing to teach his apprentice in troubleshooting and holding relaxed energy. This seemed to help foster a supportive relationship between mentor and mentee: available space for a mentee to ask questions and gain clear direction from a respectful source. There was a great peace and down-to-earth feel to Bryan and his apprentice, even though they were in the blaring sun, hot air, and the pressure of getting their pictures taken.
Bryan has served as a young leader in the community by being involved as a coach in peewee football, baseball, and wrestling club. He currently volunteers his time as a member of West Grand School District Accountability Committee (DAC). “I jumped at the opportunity. They needed a voice from a business owner and tradesman. And with all 4 of my boys being enrolled there, it was a strong passion for me.” And in early 2020, Bryan and Brittany took over the Wolford Marina as Past Creek Investments with Kristin and Doug Prewitt.
Today, Bryan and Brittany have 4 boys: Aiden (11), Caleb (9), Chris (6), Parker (4). The family lives in Old Park for the beautiful and natural surroundings, “our kids are pretty crazy. If we lived in town everyone would know where we live!” The Klotz family are also regular parishioners at the Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in Kremmling.
Residents can look forward to Bryan’s vision of growing Grand Power, but also fostering leadership that “does your best, puts forth quality in your actions, and gives from your heart. Be a go-getter!”