by IBEW 1245 Organizing Steward Georgette Carrillo
The IBEW International RENEW Advisory Committee met in Washington D.C, on Nov. 5-6 to discuss various issues regarding our Districts’ RENEW committees. I have the honor and privilege of sitting on the committee and representing the 9th District. The purpose of our meeting was to formulate strategies to increase the communication, participation, and cooperation within the RENEW program.
RENEW is the product of IBEW International Resolution No. 14, Empowering the Next Generation and Ensuring Our Future. The purpose for RENEW is “to Reach out and Engage Next-gen Electrical Workers (RENEW), and to create opportunities for members ages 35 years and younger … to develop the skills necessary to become active in the union.” From this resolution came the formation of the RENEW Advisory Committee, comprised of one representative from each of the 11 IBEW districts.
This was our first meeting with our new dedicated leader Rachel Bryan, who comes out of the 9th District. Sister Bryan is an International Representative in the Civic and Community Engagement department, and has a great deal of experience engaging young workers.
On our first day, we had the honor of meeting with International President Lonnie Stephenson. Our discussion with IP Stephenson entailed strategies on increasing cooperation within our locals when it comes to starting or strengthening RENEW committees. We also discussed with IP Stephenson the role young workers will play in our upcoming IBEW Convention in 2016. After our meeting with IP Stephenson, we shared strategies and challenges we are encountering within our diverse districts.
The next day we opened our session with a detailed review of the RENEW toolkit, and the process of distributing it within the districts. Sister Bryan led a training on Cultural Competency, which focused on seeing our membership without stereotypes or discrimination, so all are given opportunities within our movement and workforce. After the training, we had a presentation on the process and procedures of the IBEW Convention, given by Brother Darrin Golden, Director of the CIR department. Brother Golden’s presentation was very informative, as most of the RENEW representatives haven’t attended am International Convention or didn’t have a clear understanding of how it will work.
We concluded our conference with our future goals, a potential date for our next meeting, and when our next conference call will take place. We all left filled with excitement and hope for the future of RENEW, and a continued commitment to increase participation within our districts regardless of age.