RENEW Offers Younger IBEW Local 175 Members Inspiration And A Voice

Friday, February 28, 2014

According to officials, the classrooms at the apprenticeship school operated jointly by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 175 and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) are a far cry from what they were even a few years ago. Walking in, you see math formulas and algorithms on the boards. Electricity still powers business, and the need for it has never been greater—but the skills required to construct the systems needed for that power are computerized, sophisticated, and demand highly trained professionals to install and care for. So highly trained in fact, that it takes five years to complete the apprenticeship program.

Caleb Long already had both a B.S. and an M.P.A. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga before deciding to become a second-generation electrician. Now working at Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station, he is also heading up the local chapter of IBEW’s RENEW initiative. Proposed in 2011 at the International Conference, RENEW (Reach out and Energize Next-gen Electrical Workers) is designed to help bridge the gap between a generation on the verge of retirement and the one ready to replace it.

“There are more people retiring than people coming into the pipeline,” Long points out. “Our local’s business manager, Barry Key, understood the need for this program. Each local is responsible for setting up their own RENEW committee, and he asked me to attend the most recent International Conference in Vancouver.”

RENEW has several goals, as Mr. Long explained. Continued education and “passing of the torch” is one of them, along with introducing younger workers to the community involvement and service that has been an IBEW hallmark, and also emphasizing the many benefits of union membership, along with helping to change stereotypes. “We are skilled craftsmen,” Mr. Long said. “Not just anyone can build the infrastructure that allows Gig City to flourish.”

They said that with approximately 20 current members, the new IBEW Local 175 RENEW committee has already participated in “Pink!”, offering a complete residential wiring job as a silent auction item. At the winning bid of $3,500, this represented a significant contribution to the nonprofit fighting breast cancer. It also represented a great bargain for the winning bidder, and will be used on a home currently being constructed on the Southside.

Mr. Long said that response to the RENEW idea has been positive across the board. “The younger generation sees a chance to break the glass ceiling and the older generation is saying, ‘It’s about time,’” he reports. “This is our opportunity to have a say and move into the future. You’ll be spotting the RENEW name quite a lot from now on.”


Chambliss' Tom Greenholtz Elected Fellow Of American Bar Foundation

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. announced that litigation attorney Tom Greenholtz has been named a member of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. The Foundation is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, and law professors who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal ... (click for more)

The Enterprise Center Launches Digital Inclusion Pilot Program

The Enterprise Center has announced the creation of a pilot program to begin addressing the digital divide in Chattanooga.   Like all cities, Chattanooga faces a digital divide characterized by a disparity in technical literacy, hardware adoption and a reliable Internet subscription at home. While Chattanoogans accustomed to using the Internet enjoy the very high ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Body Found On South Highland Park Avenue

The Chattanooga Police Department is investigating a body found at 2106 S.   Highland Park Ave.  The person’s identity and cause of death are unknown at this time. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding this crime to call  423 698-2525. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when available. (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College - And Response

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Value-Added Friendship

I need to take you through the back door on this one because it is a story that my friend Sandy Pohfal just sent me from Texas. Sandy happens to know Dr. John C. Dealey, a business-consultant wizard in Dallas whose advisory councils have made folks a lot of money. In turn, Dr. Dealey knows a guy he’ll only refer to as “Raymond.” Of all the guys I just mentioned, you need to focus ... (click for more)