July 2016
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Also In This Issue

3D Training Video

Who's Behind that
Union-Busting Message?

You should know read_more

Lighting the Landscape
IBEW assists Iowa project read_more

In Ind., a New Manufacturing Meme
Plant expansion,
new members read_more

Utility Consolidation Sweeps Mid-Atlantic
Exelon swallows Pepco read_more

In Tenn., New Residential Construction
Project fueled by
pension funds read_more

Outside Linemen in Short Supply?
New tool to recruit,
ease shortages read_more

North of 49°
IBEW Steps Up to Help Members Affected by Historic Alberta Wildfire read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
La FIOE vient en aide aux membres affectés par l'incendie historique de l'Alberta read_more






  Cover Photo

Apprentice Training Moves
into Virtual Realm

It was a cold, rainy May morning outside the Washington, D.C., Local 26 training center in Lanham, Maryland. But inside, Romuel Buenio put on a pair of goggles and was transported to a jobsite littered with hazards, problems and potentially deadly electrical issues.

The first-year apprentice never left the classroom. But with cameras from the television show "Innovations" on hand, he and others saw where electrical training continues to head. With the help of a virtual reality headset called Oculus Rift, Buenio felt like he was standing on an overhang without a railing while being asked to diagnose a variety of problems at the jobsite.

"Oh man, it felt like I was there," he said. "It's very realistic. It actually put me in the room."

Buenio and other apprentices likely will be using Oculus Rift and other similar programs during the next year on a regular basis. So will wiremen going through advanced training.

"It's all about putting someone in the environment," said Mike deSimon, president of Mosaic Learning, which is the technology delivery provider for the Electrical Training Alliance and developed the electrical training content used in Oculus Rift. "Before, we were able to show you videos. But when you stand there and you have that experience, the back of your mind and your subconscious say, 'I was there' and 'I remember it.'"

"Innovations" informs viewers about recent breakthroughs in science, health, business and industry, making the simulator on display that morning a perfect subject. The show is hosted by veteran actor Ed Begley Jr.

The episode on the advanced training methods used by the Alliance, an educational partnership between the IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association for more than 70 years, will be shown sometime between July and September on the Discovery Channel. The air date will be posted on ibew.org when it is announced.

The electrical training used in Oculus Rift probably will be available in training centers in 2017.

"We just kind of hoped in the past that with PowerPoint slides and some other things, students would pick up the standard stuff," deSimon said. "Now, we're pulling them by the collar into the environment and telling them to look at this and engage with us. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson: Lessons from Another Verizon Strike read_more
Chilia: Your Most Important Decision read_more

PoliticsA Win for Working Families: Paycheck Deception Law Goes Down in Missouri; IBEW, Other Unions Mount Right-to-Work
Challenge in W.Va.;
Government's Own TPP Report: Meager Growth and Bigger Trade Deficit;
U.S. Korea Trade Data Fuels TPP Opposition read_more

CircuitsIBEW Sisters Attend U.N. Women's Global Leadership Program;
Young Worker Safety Motivates NextGen in Canada;
In Chicago, A Commitment to Diversity read_more

LettersSolidarity is our Strength;
Celebrating the Verizon Strike's End;
Kudos to an IBEW Organizer;
Keep Fighting
Right-to-Work read_more

In MemoriamMarch 2016 read_more

Who We AreIBEW Law Student Makes the Case for Labor Law Reform read_more


Change of Address