November 2021
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Also In This Issue A Win for Nuclear Power
Illinois Members Pressed Politicians to Save
Nuclear Jobs read_more

Restoring Power
in Ida's Wake

Linemen Raced From Across the U.S. When Hurricane Ida Tore Through the Gulf Coast in August 6 read_more

North of 49°
Canada's Election
Returns Allies for IBEW, Working Families read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
L'élection fédérale donne des alliés à la FIOE et la classe ouvrière read_more

My IBEW Story Ivan Sierra-Vargas read_more

Grounded in History Remembering
Henry Miller read_more






Cover Photo

A 21st-Century Goldrush:
Inside the Race to
Store the World's Data

In the 130-year history of the IBEW, there has never been anything quite like the explosive growth of the data center business.

Fifteen years ago, the entire industry barely existed.

A handful of IBEW locals saw a few hundred members building small-scale data centers in specific tech-heavy corners of the country like Silicon Valley, northern New Jersey and a few suburban Virginia towns west of Washington, D.C.

Today, data center construction has become a juggernaut nationwide, providing tens of millions of work hours from coast to coast, in small towns and big cities alike.

Statistics are hard to come by in this notoriously secretive industry, but there at least 10 data center projects worth $1 billion or more underway and thousands, most likely tens of thousands, of IBEW members at work on data centers every day.

"We have had about 500 to 1,000 members working on data centers for the last 10 years," said Columbus, Ohio, Local 683 Business Manager Pat Hook, "and we have at least 10 more years of work at the same level. It is half our hours."

Local 683 only has 2,000 members.

A single building in Chicago uses more energy than any Commonwealth Edison customer other than the 11-square-mile O'Hare International Airport, and it was gutted and rebuilt entirely by members of Chicago Local 134, according to Business Manager Donald Finn.

"There are four fiber vaults and three electric power feeds, which provide the building with more than 120 megawatts of power and about 50 generators throughout the million square feet," he said. "The amount of pipe and wire that went into that building is nothing short of incredible."

Atlanta Local 613 Business Manager Kenny Mullins estimates his local has worked about 25 million man-hours in the last five years and 65 million in the past decade on data center jobs. One project, the QTS Mega Data Center, will use 275 megawatts of power when complete and has two Georgia Power substations on site. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Stephenson:
Brotherhood Keeps
Us Strong read_more
Thank You to our Veterans read_more

TransitionsMike Daugherty;
Donald L. Mahoney read_more

PoliticsDenver Local Paves the
Way for Biden Speech on Clean Energy and Good, Union Jobs read_more

Organizing WireD.C. Local's Winning Strategy Solves a Problem then Adds New Contractor read_more

Organizing WireBiden Administration Announces Plans for
National Workplace
Heat Standard read_more

CircuitsIllinois Local Powers New Rock 'n' Roll Museum;
Drive-Thru Picnic a Homecoming for
LocalĀ 48 Members;
Apprentice's Gratitude Earns Pentagon Award for West Virginia Local read_more

LettersProud to be IBEW read_more

In MemoriamSeptember 2021 read_more

Who We AreSpeed on the Water is
Family Affair for Oklahoma Father-Son Wiremen read_more

Change of Address