No one had to persuade Adam Hentschel to join the IBEW. He’s a fourth generation union member.
“My dad is IBEW, my grandfather and great-grandfather worked in the automobile industry and my brother is also in the trade. I applied, waited two years and was accepted as a telecommunications apprentice,” Hentschel said.
|RENEW team members from Detroit Local 17 and Local 58 join forces to upgrade a shelter for women and children.
A 29-year-old member of Detroit Local 58, Hentschel is spreading the word among his peers about the advantages of an IBEW career. The recruiting effort, called Reach out and Engage Next-gen Electrical Workers, is a major initiative throughout the IBEW to attract young members to replace the retiring older generation of workers.
Hentschel said Local 58 is building a strong RENEW program. “We were ringing doorbells during the recent election for governor and phone banking with the AFL-CIO. In our PAC committee, Next Gen members outnumber the seniors.”
Upholding the IBEW tradition of community service is also a high priority for Hentschel and his RENEW brothers and sisters. They recently teamed with their counterparts at Detroit Local 17 to support a food bank and a shelter for women and children.
Hentschel said he was encouraged by the success of the young worker movement in the IBEW. The IBEW’s RENEW conference in Chicago in March included 430 members, which more than doubled the previous gathering in 2013, said Tarn Goelling, international representative in the Civic and Community Engagement Department. The feedback on how RENEW is progressing is positive and a lot of younger members are taking that energy back to their locals, Hentschel said.
Local 58 is promoting RENEW through local and IBEW Facebook pages, an online newsletter, and monthly conference calls.