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.”


Association Of Fundraising Professionals' Southeastern Chapter To Hold Membership Meeting May 27

The Southeastern Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will hold its monthly membership meeting on  Wednesday, May 27  at the Mountain City Club, located at 729 Chestnut Street, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m .   This month’s guest speaker is Lynne Wester, Founder and Principal of Donor Relations Guru. Ms. Wester is a frequent conference ... (click for more)

GDOL To Help Automation Personnel Recruit Workers In Dalton Next Week

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) will help staffing company Automation Personnel fill 60 jobs for companies with textile plants in Murray and Whitfield counties. The recruitment will be held on  Wednesday, May 27 , from  9 a.m. to 12 noon  at the GDOL’s Dalton Career Center, 1406 Chattanooga Ave. The company is recruiting extrusion, ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Garcia Charged With Armed Robbery Of Red Bank Dollar Store

Red Bank Police have charged 25-year-old Derek Matthew Garcia with the armed robbery of the Dollar General Store at 4707 Dayton Blvd. Police Chief Tim Christol said the robbery occurred last Friday at approximately 12:30 p.m. when Garcia entered the store armed with a knife and demanded the clerk give him all the money from the cash register. He was arrested Thursday ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)