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November 2022

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Honoring our Vets With Action

Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada are days when each of us is asked to honor and remember those who've served our countries selflessly in uniform.

So, to every IBEW veteran in both the U.S. and Canada, let me thank you for your incredible service.

But here at the IBEW, we've pledged to do more, and we're going to need every local union's help to achieve our ambitious goals.

If you read last month's Electrical Worker and the cover story in this issue, you know there's a tidal wave of work coming for IBEW members across every branch thanks to several pieces of legislation that President Biden ushered through Congress over the last year. It's most pronounced in the construction industry, where nearly every piece of the new economy in both the U.S. and Canada will need electricians and lineworkers to make everything work.

Put bluntly, we need to grow to meet the coming demand. And if we don't grow quickly, we risk losing out on an economic goldrush the likes of which we haven't seen since the end of World War II.

Like the 1940s and '50s, our nations' veterans are sure to be a big piece of the solution.

On Page 7 of this issue, you'll read about the Veterans Electrical Entry Program, which we and our partners at NECA have recently expanded to multiple local union training centers in California. Many IBEW locals across the U.S. have benefited from VEEP graduates joining through Anchorage, Alaska, Local 1547 or through online offerings, and many more will benefit from these new locations. But that list needs to grow.

If your JATC is near an active-duty military base, I encourage you to visit and get more information about what it takes to get the VEEP program started for veterans in your area.

Because here's the thing: we owe our veterans a lot. But we have a lot to gain from them as well. Veterans show up on Day One with the discipline, work ethic and leadership skills that come from military service. They're an enormous benefit to any local they join.

And if the IBEW and NECA can do one thing to help our veterans transition from active duty into a private-sector career, then we've honored their service with action.

So, thank the veterans in your life this month, but if you want to turn those words into results, I encourage you to offer them a path into a life-changing career in the IBEW.


Also: Stephenson: Giving Thanks Read Stephenson's Column

Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International Secretary-Treasurer