The Electrical Worker online
December 2023

From the Officers
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Celebrating Our Power

This time of year is a season of celebration for nearly all of our members. And brothers and sisters, we have a lot to celebrate.

But before we get to that, I want to wish all of you peace and joy and encourage you to take time to really enjoy your friends, your family and the life you work so hard to create.

We are, as a group, profoundly blessed, and I wish you a safe and prosperous New Year.

Now to those celebrations.

This past month, the Department of Energy released $3.5 billion to help fund 58 projects to rebuild the grid and protect it from extreme weather dangers. It's the first of $10.5 billion earmarked for this purpose, which you can read more about on page 6 of this issue.

And when I saw that huge number, I thought to myself, that's ours. Most of the projects are with our employer partners. The overwhelming majority of this important grid-strengthening work will be done by IBEW members.

So, how did we organize this?

We helped write the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to finally answer our decades-long call to be serious about grid reliability.

We worked the halls of Congress to get bipartisan support for the largest investment in working people in nearly a century. The grid program is just one part of this more-than-$1 trillion bill, which was written specifically to advantage union workers.

I'd love to enjoy the view, but the truth is we've got more to do to get ready for what's coming.

Union projects are getting the vast majority of this money because we don't just build the foundation that keeps our nation standing. Union jobs hold our communities together.

Now that the law is written and the money is coming, our work keeps going. We have a battalion of enforcers ensuring that the money is spent the way it was intended and gets to workers and critical infrastructure, not Wall Street.

And our best friend in getting that done is the man who signed the law, President Joe Biden.

This is what working-class power looks like. We get the right people elected to office with our time, support and resources.

Then we get in the rooms to write the rules for working people.

Now we go out and take advantage of the rules we've written to put you into a good job and money into your pocket.

And this is only the beginning.

By the time you read this, IBEW members won't just be anticipating this work. We will have boots on the ground.

The power to do this comes from our collective strength. Each and every one, pulling their weight, showing up to union meetings, spreading the word and doing the job.

Thank you for all you do for the IBEW, and happy holidays to you and your families.


Also: Noble: The Joys of Giving Back Read Noble's Column

Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International President