The Electrical Worker online
November 2021

My IBEW Story
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Ivan Sierra-Vargas, Senior Groundman Truck Driver
Indianapolis Local 1393

"I worked at a fast-food restaurant for almost nine years as a manager, living paycheck to paycheck. My wife would work overnight, and I would work during the day. She, our two children and I were living in poverty in a single-wide trailer, struggling to pay bills and choosing between groceries and paying the electric bill. My son has autism, and he wasn't doing well because we couldn't get him the help or attention he needed.

My father-in-law has been a member of Local 1393 for almost 20 years, so I took a chance, drove down to Indianapolis, and got on the books, then also went and got my commercial driver's license.

Once I joined the IBEW, my wife was able to quit her job and stay home with our children. My son thrived and now, four years later, he can speak. Now we live comfortably and we were able to buy our first home two years ago.

The benefits are also life changing. The traveling is also a bonus. So is the brotherhood. I was injured about a year ago — broke my leg and hand. The response of my brothers who rallied behind me was amazing and brought me to tears many times. I cannot thank the union enough for giving my family and me the chance to thrive.

I love to rep my IBEW gear proudly. You have changed my life and for that I'm eternally grateful!"