The United Way of Greater Chattanooga is grateful to the IBEW Local 175 for its many years of support and donations to advance the common good in our community. Below is a reprint from the Chattanoogan.com about their many years of service, their history of community support, and upcoming celebrations.
Thank you IBEW Local 175!
International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 175 Celebrates 100 Years Of Service To Region
Launches Anniversary Campaign With Multiple Events
A local union was chartered on June 25, 1912, with goals that included some expected ones: “To organize workers in the electrical industry,” “To promote reasonable methods of work,” and “To secure adequate pay for our work.” But the charter also included the mission “By legal and proper means to elevate the moral, intellectual and social conditions of our members, their families and dependents, in the interest of a higher standard of citizenship.”
Today, the IBEW Local 175, headquartered in Chattanooga, represents more than 3,000 electrical workers in Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama. For a century, IBEW Local 175 has partnered with power boards and coops across the region, the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee and the National Electrical Contractors Association to provide the highest quality of craftsmanship, helping to build many of the region’s landmarks. The faces of IBEW members in archival photos are the faces of our region’s last century—and now, its present century.
“The 100-year anniversary asks us to look back at the leaders and members that kept this local strong,” said IBEW Local 175 Business Manager Barry Key. “When I look at the working conditions that the original members had, the sacrifices that they made, it makes me very proud to be a part of this milestone celebration.” Noted IBEW Local 175 President Dwight Wilhoit, “For 100 years, members of Local 175 and their families have been able to actively participate in the joy of being part of America’s middle class by working for wages and benefits they themselves have bargained for collectively.”
IBEW 175 is also proud of the strong connections to the community it has forged. In a long partnership with the United Way, member contributions have provided childcare services, family counseling, food and shelter for homeless individuals and families and much more. IBEW Local 175 members have contributed more than $3 million dollars to the United Way.
The anniversary celebrations will also highlight the local’s pride in its long-term relationships with partners, customers and vendors, who include many of the region’s biggest businesses and organizations. In 100 years, several generations of families have supported IBEW Local 175’s work, some which include grandfather, father, sons and daughters. The local’s outstanding apprenticeship program continues to offer opportunities to both men and women seeking world-class job skills coupled with a proven work ethic.
“Local 175 is an organization of employees that come together to have a voice in their workplace and pursue their common interests,” said Mr. Key. “Unions are organizations by, about and for their members.”
IBEW leaders see a welcoming future in a growing region. “Looking forward, I want our local to grow and accept the changes in technology with a positive vision,” Key said. “We will keep our members trained and ready to meet the customer needs of the future.” Wilhoit stated, “We look forward to meeting the needs of our trade as we face an ever-changing electrical industry, and making sure that our members, through training, are always the leaders in the latest technology.”
IBEW Local 175 100th Anniversary Events
May 17 IBEW Local 175 Retirees Breakfast
May 25 IBEW Night at the Lookouts
June 25 100th Anniversary Open House (open to public) Note: additional information forthcoming on this event.
June 28 100th Anniversary Barbecue, Barbecue Competition and Concert
Additional events are being planned throughout the remainder of 2012