Spring Apprentices of the Month

January | William Revetria | completed 4th Year                 

“It’s very cool to win the Apprentice of the Month award and to be recognized for something you love to do. With the apprenticeship, I like the education we’re getting and the
hands-on training. I was never one to sit down in a classroom, which is why the trades work for me.

“Before the apprenticeship, I was a sheet metal worker. But electrical work was something I really wanted to learn. I was interested to know how things work electrically.

“It’s great being in the union, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I actually feel bad for the nonunion workers. We get paid well and treated well, and it feels like we’re all working toward something. I honestly can say that I really like my coworkers, which goes back to the brother- and sisterhood of electrical workers. They are all great and work really well together. And that’s what the union is all about.

“I grew up in the Peninsula, and I live in Hayward. I go to school and work and usually don’t have very much free time. But if I do have a few hours, I usually work around the house on repairs and am even doing some rewiring. I’m really looking forward to turning out and having more free time.”

February | Alvin Tilton | turned out this semester                      

”I just turned out, and I love it. This is everything I’ve wanted for a long time. Before I entered the apprenticeship, I was a carpenter for 12 years, and I felt like I wasn’t making enough to sustain my family. But because of my wages as an electrician, I just closed on my first house.

“Now that I’m a journeyman, it’s new to be on this side, bringing up the apprentices who are just starting out. I have a first-year apprentice working with me, and he just turned in his bluebook hours. I’m going to evaluate him, and I feel that because of all my training, I know exactly how he’s doing and will be able to give him a fair review.

“I love being in the union because I never have to interview for another job again. I keep up on my dues, and if and when the time comes to get another job, I sign the book, and see where I can take a call.

“Being awarded Apprentice of the Month came as a surprise, but I know I was doing really well in class and on tests. You don’t get too many awards like this, so it’s an honor, and I’m grateful for being recognized.”

March | Marcus Weagle | completed 4th year (on the cover)                                                         

“The Apprentice of the Month award blew me away and brought me to tears, because of the recognition of how I’ve turned my life around from where I was.

“I wasn’t handed anything. I really struggled to provide a life for my family, my son, and my stepsons. But because of the support of the IBEW, my instructors, Robert Chon, the apprentice coordinator, the journeymen, and the foremen, I was able to make something of myself.

“The IBEW is like a family. In fact, it’s more like a family than most families. I’ve worked nonunion, and I know both sides. Having the backing of the union on the job site is amazing. However, having the backing of my brothers and sisters has proven to be more important: It’s amazing to have peers who really care about you and go out of their way for you.

“Being an electrician is what I was meant to do. The IBEW has given me the opportunity to go to school and enhance my life more than I could ever explain. I am so grateful. I love how challenging the work is and how it’s a team effort where you solve problems together. There’s a sense of accomplishment when you turn that switch on and know you’ve built something for people who will use it for years and years. You drive by and say, ‘I built that.’

April | Daniel Colmer | completed 4th year                                      

”I’m super grateful for the Apprentice of the Month award. It’s nice to know that the hard work and dedication have paid off. Thinking back as a first-year apprentice, I never thought I’d be here today. I’m so grateful for the people who have helped: the instructors, journeymen, and foremen.

“Everyone has taken me under their wing to make me better as an electrician and a person. On the electrical skills side, people have asked me if I’ve done something. If I haven’t, they’ll show me, I’ll do the work, and then they’ll make me keep doing it until I’ve really gotten it down.

“On the personal side, I’ve had foremen talk to me about how to communicate with people,
how to come to work with a positive attitude, and how you can make the most out of your career. I will take those lessons with me everywhere I go.

“My favorite part is working with my hands, running pipe, and standing back to appreciate the work you’ve done. I also love that it’s a brother- and sisterhood and that it’s more than work, but a community. When I wear the IBEW t-shirt, people love to say hello to me. I’m grateful to be part of it and proud to be a member.”

May | Austin Franklin  | turned out this semester          

“I feel like everything I’ve been working for for five years has paid off, and I passed my state exam. Now that I’ve turned out, the weight of the world has fallen off my shoulders. It feels amazing to win the Apprentice of the Month award on my way out. I feel honored to be recognized for the effort I put in, both in school and at work.

“I got into the apprenticeship when I was 19. I only did a year of nonunion and before that, I was in high school. I got my feet wet doing nonunion, but my goal was always to be in the union. Here, we have great benefits, and everybody works together as part of a team. In nonunion, people work against each other. In the union, we are just brothers and sisters trying to make a living and make the union stronger.

“I like being an electrician because I like working with my hands. It’s what my dad did, and what my brother does. You pass down your knowledge and make the apprentices better and teach them everything you know. That’s what it means to be union. It’s all a team at the end of the day, and we are making each other stronger. Being a union electrician fits well with me–I guess that’s the way I’m wired – LOL– that’s an electrician’s joke!”

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