The Electrical Worker online
April 2020

My IBEW Story
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Emma Basmayor, Apprentice Wireman
Raleigh, N.C., Local 553

"I worked as a veterinary assistant for almost five years before I decided to join the IBEW. I loved my job, but it came with huge pitfalls. Low wages, no benefits, minimal opportunity for advancement and burnout are problems that plague the industry. I wanted more from life.

When I decided to leave the veterinary field, I began looking into training programs for electricians and found Local 553. I worked as a pre-apprentice for almost a year before officially starting as an apprentice wireman. During that time, I worked with a wide variety of IBEW journeymen. It was clear they cared about the apprentices and our industry as a whole. The training and support I received have affirmed my decision to join.

Joining the IBEW has made an incredible impact on my life. My income has almost doubled; I can afford to pay my bills and I don't have to worry about how I'm going to pay for medical care anymore. I've also found a sense of community I never expected. The support I've received as a young woman in the construction industry has been incredible. Joining was one of the best decisions I've ever made."