By Ron Cochran
IBEW Local 1245 is starting a new mentoring program for Outside Construction members who are interested.
The goal of this program is to expose the Outside Line apprentices to what goes on inside and outside of the union. There is a lot of work on the front-end of line and substation projects. In some cases it can involve lobbying as far away as Washington, D.C., and politicking with the utilities involved. Often there is a struggle over jurisdictional issues with the local Building Trades unions. There is a large investment in time to turn these projects into jobs for Local 1245 members.
On Jan. 18 we took our first apprentice lineman, Brian Brown for a ride-along day from California to the Reno, NV area. He sat in on a pre-job meeting for the SWIP project. Brian has been a member since 1995. He worked for Davey Tree for 14 years before becoming an outside line apprentice.
Brian and I were in Nevada before the meeting and had breakfast with retired Journeyman Bob Cross. Bob started in the trade in 1951 in Michigan, working his way across America. He worked on lines in Nevada that were associated with the mining industry and in 1961 moved his ticket to 1245, where he has been a member ever since. Bob and Brian talked and shared information about the trade.
Before we left on our 200-mile trip back to Northern California, Brian was able to meet several NV Energy linemen, and some that had gone through California-Nevada JATC. Brian was also able to have some one-on-one time with Business Manager, Tom Dalzell and Organizer Fred Ross; both were in Nevada on other NV Energy business.
It was a very positive experience for all. We hope to continue the ride-a-longs when the line apprentices are in-between job assignments.