June 12, 2023

Current Path: Electrician Andy Gwin on Making the Switch to the City of Virginia Beach

Andy shares what he loves about being a maintenance engineer in the City’s electrical shop.
Andy Gwin

Growing up, electrician Andy Gwin was known for dismantling toys and electronics to understand how they worked.

“I have always enjoyed working with my hands to solve problems and figure things out,” he said.

Electrician Andy Gwin Working

Pursuing his childhood interest sparked a career as an electrician. But after progressing through several jobs in his field while raising a family, Andy found himself working long hours at a private company in a stressful project management role.

“It wore me down, and the work-life balance wasn’t there,” he said. “It was a good growing period for me, but I really missed the whole hands-on aspect of this work.”

In 2017, Andy accepted a job as a maintenance engineer in the City’s electrical shop, which is in the Building Maintenance division of the Department of Public Works.

As a lifelong Virginia Beach resident, he was surprised to learn how widespread and varied the City’s facilities are. “I didn’t realize the City had so many different properties and so many different types of buildings,” Andy said.

In addition to the reasonable pace and predictable work schedule, Andy has enjoyed the wide variety of assignments. “A typical day at the City is not so typical. I could be at the Oceanfront running cable for an event. I could get called to service a panel, or I could be at the Aquarium working on an exhibit,” he said.

Now in his sixth year with the City, Andy supervises a team of electricians at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. His team is responsible for maintaining 2,100 streetlights and more than 50 electrical panels throughout the resort area.

“I get to see the behind-the-scenes of what makes the City tick, and that is pretty awesome,” he said.

Electrician Andy Gwin in bucket truck at King Neptune statue

Part of Andy’s maintenance routine is to survey the streetlights in the dark morning hours, which occasionally means catching the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. “Even though I’m down there for my job and I have what I need to focus on, sometimes I can’t help but take in the sunrise,” he said. “It’s a beautiful way to start the day.”

Above all, Andy enjoys getting to work for the City he and his family call home. “I love Virginia Beach,” he said. “To be a part of and work in an area that I live in and love—that to me is really special.”

Find YOUR best job yet. Check out current employment opportunities with the City of Virginia Beach at virginiabeach.gov/careers.

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