To grow our skillsets as now and future union leaders, a RENEW conference is held every other year. In 2019, a number of RENEW 159 members joined hundreds of other RENEW members in St. Louis from across the USA and Canada. There we engaged in local community initiatives, attended workshops, and shared ideas and experiences with other RENEW members. It is an opportunity to grow our respective chapters as well as our own individual knowledge.
Our IBEW Local 159 Union is responsible for staffing electrical contracts across the South-Central part of Wisconsin. This includes the counties of Iowa, Dane, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Marquette, and Green Lake. We work on all sorts of jobsites doing new construction and renovations. Our work takes us to hospitals, schools, universities, office buildings, hotels, private residencies, industrial businesses, solar fields, and more. Our members take pride in the quality of our work, ensuring the timely and accurate completion of projects, building the necessary electrical infrastructure for modern day society.
Our Union represents all of us and fights for all of us. Unions have historically been the champions of labor rights and that trend continues to today. The continuous erosion of workplace rights as well as rising education costs and entire industries with stagnant wages can make a union apprenticeship an appealing alternative to people of all backgrounds. Our most recent round of accepted apprentices includes people from all walks of life. This includes people fresh out of high school, to those with college degrees that found their educational investment is not yielding the results they wanted, to people with established careers that found both their opportunities and salaries had bottomed out, to single parents wanting to ensure their children have a secure financial future, to those that just weren’t sure what to do and found us to be a high paying route to success.
We ask a lot of our apprentices, and our apprenticeships are a lot of hard work. But the end results can be incredibly rewarding. As an introduction to our apprenticeship program, IBEW Local 494 based in Milwaukee helped put together a video introducing what our apprenticeship entails. IBEW Local 159 here in Madison has a very similar program, with a very similar structure.
For additional information on applying to our apprenticeship program please visit our website at ibew159.org or contact us at IBEW Training Center & Offices 4903 Commerce Ct. McFarland, WI 53558.
On Friday, June 24th IBEW Local 159 Business Manager Sue Blue spoke with Labor Radio on WORT FM about our recent arbitration decision of our contract, diversity in the building trades, the union’s response to covid-19, and more.
[In association with the “fantasy in lights” image]
Did you know that the annual Fantasy in Lights display in Madison’s Olin Park is a joint venture between IBEW Local 159 and local contractors? Every year local union electricians, apprentices, and retirees dedicate their time to putting this fantastic community display together. Donations to this event support its continued success as well as benefit local non-profits. Entrance is free with the option of giving a donation at the end. Come check it out starting in November!