July 2013
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Also In This Issue Calif. Gov. attends training center opening read_more

Rockwell Collins workers ratify five-year contract read_more

Minority caucus, young workers build up,
give back read_more

IBEW WWII hero honored on Memorial Day read_more

Members reach out to FairPoint execs read_more

Comcast workers win voice with IBEW read_more

North of 49°
Outside Line Workers Win with Team Bargaining read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Les travailleurs de lignes sortent gagnants d'une négociation en équipe read_more





Brotherhood Outdoors TV

  Cover Photo

'The Perfect Storm?'
Skilled Worker Shortage Looms for Construction Branch

National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee Director Michael Callanan has news that many IBEW members might find hard to believe.

"Six or seven years ago, I was warning that because of the graying of the baby boom generation and not enough recruits to the apprenticeship program, construction was facing a perfect storm," Callanan said. "The recession may have delayed it, but the problem is still out there."

With construction unemployment still running upward of 14 percent, the idea that there will be a shortage of skilled labor seems almost implausible. But many industry analysts and IBEW leaders say that is exactly what we are facing unless major changes are made.

In fact, says Callanan, the Great Recession, which forced tens of thousands of experienced workers out of the industry while dropping new apprenticeship recruitment to record-low levels, has intensified the coming labor crunch.

It's a problem that threatens not only the nascent economic recovery but the future of the IBEW, said International President Edwin D. Hill.

"If we can't provide contractors with a steady stream of skilled labor, we won't get the jobs and our market share plummets," he said. "Unless we replenish our ranks with the next generation of workers, our future is limited."

Energy, Data Driving Boom

Eleventh District International Representative John Bourne, who's charged with helping supply contractors with IBEW workers for upcoming projects, said he sees billions of dollars in new work coming down the pike.

"In Iowa we've got three multi-million dollar fertilizer plants coming, and on the Gulf Coast, we're looking at some huge projects," he says.

Government data bears him out. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of electrician jobs will grow by 23 percent between now and 2020; McGraw-Hill Construction found that nearly half of all general contractors say they are worried about recruiting enough skilled tradesmen to meet the coming demand. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Hill: Defending Public
Workers read_more
Chilia: Man-Made Disaster
in Philly read_more

TransitionsPhillip Flemming; William F. Daniels; Amanda Pacheco read_more

CircuitsIBEW Comic Book
Recounts Labor's Story to New Members;
IBEW/Utility Training Program Recognized read_more

LettersUnion = Opportunity for All;
The Underground Economy;
Means of Production read_more

In MemoriamMay 2013 read_more

Who We AreConnecticut Organizer Goes 'Above and Beyond' read_more