The Electrical Worker online
January 2024

From the Officers
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New Year's Resolution

For many, the New Year means resolutions to exercise more, quit smoking or lose weight.

Here is another resolution I hope you consider: do your part to build a bigger and stronger IBEW in 2024.

This year is shaping up to be one of our biggest ever. More opportunities exist to expand our reach, bring in more members, sign up new contractors and win over more customers than we have seen in generations.

Legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act mean tens of thousands of potential IBEW jobs in construction and nearly every branch of the Brotherhood.

Interest in labor unions and the trades is higher than ever, especially among the younger generations. People who would have never considered a career in the IBEW just a few years ago are taking a closer look.

Our reputation for excellence is spreading daily in corporate boardrooms across North America, and many CEOs and developers have concluded that partnering with the IBEW is the best path forward for their businesses as well as their workers.

And our political influence continues to grow at every level of government. We are getting pro-worker, pro-jobs and pro-union legislation passed and ensuring the IBEW's place at the table.

But because we are only as strong as our membership, seizing all these opportunities requires everyone to step up and become engaged and educated IBEW members.

First, attend your local meetings, where you can learn what is going on in your jurisdiction and what you can do to build a stronger IBEW. But don't just stop at the monthly meeting. I have been a business manager; I know every local has a lot on their plate. That is why I need you to volunteer and get involved, especially when it comes to community outreach and grassroots political action.

Second, learn what you can do to help organize more workers into the IBEW. We're working with new tools and a new playbook for organizing in 2024, and it's going to take each and every one of us — from my office down to first-year apprentices — doing our part to ensure that we continue to grow to meet this historic demand for electrical workers.

Third, create a culture that is welcoming to everyone. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, but together, we are one IBEW, and I need all of you to help forge bonds of solidarity with every new member starting on Day 1.

The IBEW is not AAA. It is not enough to just pay your dues every month. We are a trade union. It is not our bank account or staff that makes us strong. It is you, IBEW brothers and sisters, taking ownership, overcoming challenges, and living up to the founding principles of this union.

So, let us celebrate the New Year by rededicating ourselves to the IBEW's mission and work to secure its legacy for future generations.

Thank you for all you do, and thank you for all you will do in this critical year. Happy New Year.


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Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International President