The Electrical Worker online
January 2021

My IBEW Story
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Jeffry C. Campbell
Retired Journeyman Inside Wireman

"I earned a two-year degree in electrical construction after high school. I then worked for a few local contractors and at a local shipyard. I did OK, but I knew an apprenticeship in the IBEW was what I really wanted. My brother-in-law and a close friend of his were in the union.

I ended up working my way up to general foreman for a local contractor at a nearby paper mill and stayed there for nearly 34 years. That allowed me to meet, employ and help many of my union brothers and sisters during major projects or just plain mill maintenance. I retired after 39-plus years at 60-1/2 and am living comfortably.

The IBEW afforded me security, decent pay, great health care, great pension possibilities and a safe working environment with contractors that care about, and listen to, their employees — even making sure projects are funded for safety.

I was also blessed to be an apprentice instructor for 26 years, which gave me countless opportunities to nurture and teach upcoming apprentices, and I was on our local's examining board for 12 years. I'm thankful that I touched the lives of over 400 apprentices. Many are still my good friends.

I constantly talk up the IBEW experience to anyone that will listen. It's the best of scenarios to learn, work safely and have a career that I loved."