March 2012

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National Labor College Scholarships Available for
IBEW Members

Rising college tuition rates are putting a squeeze on many families' pocketbooks, but IBEW members can now achieve their dreams of a university diploma with a scholarship from the National Labor College.

Available to all IBEW members in good standing, scholarship recipients earn $795 toward any class at the NLC. Application deadlines are April 9 for the summer session and August 6 for the fall.

The National Labor College is the nation's only accredited higher education institution devoted exclusively to educating union members and their families, leaders and staff.

Bachelor's degrees are available in construction management, business administration, emergency management and labor studies — fields designed to help boost your career and make you a savvier labor activist.

"The National Labor College provided me with a wonderful opportunity to return to school and get my degree," says 2004 graduate Darrin Golden. The Rockford, Ill., Local 364 business manager — who was still an organizer when he got his degree — says the program equipped him with the skills he needed to become a leader in the IBEW. "It is geared toward union members and classes are taught by labor activists who share our values."

The online classes are meant to fit busy schedules and can be done from anywhere with Internet access.

Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information and to download an application, go to:

Wis. Electrician Displays Courage, Skill in Afghanistan

It had been 18 years since John Danczyk, a Marine Corps veteran and vice president of Stevens Point, Wis., Local 388, returned from the first Gulf War, entered his apprenticeship, topped out and went to work as a journeyman inside wireman.

In 2010, after having worked only 15 weeks in two years, Danczyk, who says he "ran the roads," signing books for work from New Hampshire to New Mexico, decided to return to a war zone, this time as a civilian electrician working out of Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

Twenty days before returning home, while taking material inventory on a calm Saturday afternoon, Danczyk was wounded by shrapnel in a rocket attack that left 12 holes penetrating the steel walls of his workshop and a soldier evacuated by helicopter for medical treatment. A round had landed less than 30 feet from his bunker and a piece hit him just below his knee. He says he felt "bee stings" on his leg.

The second-generation IBEW member has been nominated for the Defense Secretary's Defense of Freedom Medal for offering assistance to soldiers during the attack. "I was very lucky to have only suffered minor injuries," he says.

"Having been in the service," says Danczyk, "I made use of knowing military rank structure to help get things done and make life for the warfighters safer and better. The soldiers are in a tough fight and I was just glad I had the knowledge from the IBEW to make their lives a little easier."

A communication and electronic specialist during his Marine service, Danczyk, who worked in Afghanistan for Inglett and Stubbs, an electrical contractor out of Atlanta, hopes that soldiers will "bring home a good impression of what a union electrician and construction worker is all about."

Years of traveling for work on diverse projects paid off in Afghanistan, says Danczyk, who has been involved in political campaigns, picket lines, attending state Democratic conventions and a Habitat for Humanity project for his local. He says, "I was very fortunate to have worked for many different contractors and in many different aspects of the trade, which made life easier and the work not nearly as daunting." Still, he had to get used to European voltages and materials and endure challenging weather and difficulties in getting materials to complete projects.

Guy LePage, Local 388 recording secretary, welcomed Danczyk back home in a January Local Lines submission. Says LePage, "John Danczyk went above and beyond what was required of him to get the job done and done right. He would go out of his way on his time off to make sure that all electrical installations were up to code and that personnel and property were safe from electrical hazards."

Danczyk says he is always learning from the quality and knowledge of the IBEW electricians he meets in his travels. "I am following my father's footsteps as an electrician," says Danczyk. "He always said that each layoff is an opportunity in disguise that could send me to new places. Boy was he right!"

"The soldiers are in a tough fight and I was just glad I had the knowledge from the IBEW to make their lives a little easier," says Marine Corps veteran John Danczyk, vice president of Stevens Point, Wis., Local 388 who worked as a civilian electrician at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.