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.”


New Hamilton County Businesses

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: A RISING SON, LLC 8640 PERSHING RD CHATTANOOGA, TN 37421 A-ONE PRINTING 6210 A DAYTON BLVD HIXSON, TN 37343 ABREGO'S GRANITE-MARBLE & MORE 1839 CLEARVIEW DR CHATTANOOGA, TN 37421 ACE TREE COMPANY 141 SUTHERLAND CEMETERY RD SODDY DAISY, TN 37379 ADVANCED TUNING SOLUTIONS ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Self Storage Announces Expansion

Signal Mountain Self Storage has been under new operators since last September. Officials said, "Since that time, the community has seen nothing but positive improvements to the once forgotten storage facility. Improvements such as roof repairs, improved water control, landscaping, and upgraded security have made the property and community stronger." The facility announced ... (click for more)

Family At Bedside Of Legendary Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt

The family of legendary Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt was at her bedside on Sunday. Erin Freeman, of the Pat Summitt Foundation, released this statement: “On behalf of Pat Summitt’s family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ progresses. "She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during ... (click for more)

Firefighters Put Out Fire In Compost Pile At City's Wood Recycling Center

Chattanooga firefighters were called to a fire at the city's wood recycling center on N. Hawthorne Street around noon on Sunday. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said the smoke and flames could be seen from several miles away.   Firefighters with five fire companies worked to get the blaze under control, using master streams from two aerials and some hand-held hoselines. The ... (click for more)

Improvements Needed At Entrance To Wilcox Tunnel

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention to a city traffic issue that needs to be addressed immediately, the sooner the better. I can see no large cost factor.   Recently, while as a concerned citizen, removing trash and litter from the entry/exit area of the Wilcox Tunnel on the side that runs into Chamberlain Avenue, I fully realized that this area could ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where Will George Go?

George Will, easily one of the most respected conservative columnists in America and a Republican commentator, was a guest on Fox News Sunday yesterday when he made a very revealing statement. He announced he has left the Republican Party “for the same reason I joined it” and that he is not only disappointed by the party’s actions but its increasingly-inept leadership as well. ... (click for more)