IBEW Local 1245 member Jimmy Ferris, a high-voltage substation electrician with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), has been selected as the Klein Tools Southwest Region Electrician of the Year, and is one of six regional finalists who are now in the running for the National Electrician of the Year award.
The awards are bestowed based on the finalist’s outstanding professional achievement, commitment to safety excellence and dedication to their community. Each regional winner receives an ultimate garage package, which includes a 41-piece Journeyman Tool Set and other Klein Tools products. Ferris and the other regional winners traveled to the Klein Tools manufacturing headquarters in Mansfield, Texas to meet the factory teams and get an inside look at some of the newest products, said Ferris.
“I was honored to have been nominated,” said Ferris, a 12-year IBEW 1245 member and resident of Folsom. He was nominated by a friend, but did not know about it until he was notified by Klein Tools. “Winning the regional award is incredible.”
The journeyman electrician and construction foreman has been recognized by many for instilling the value of safety with his crews. He has led numerous executive-level safety presentations and served on a joint labor/management committee that decreased preventable vehicle accidents from 27 to 7 in one year. Even during his off-duty volunteer work, Ferris shares work safety techniques to ensure every crew he works with remains safe while on the job.
Ferris was recognized by SMUD for stopping to assist an elderly woman with two flat tires on an extremely hot summer day. He removed the two wheels, had the tires replaced at his expense and reinstalled them at the side of the freeway. Ferris had not told anyone of the good deed, but the woman’s grandson shared the news with the utility’s general manager and word spread quickly through the company newsletter.
The national Electrician of the Year honor will be decided by members of the Klein family and online voting that runs September 11-15. Online votes can be cast September 11-15 at www.kleintools.com/eoy. All Local 1245 members are invited to cast votes and support Brother Ferris. The winner will be announced September 27.
The national Electrician of the Year will select an all-expenses paid vacation to one of four iconic destinations that all include a tie-in to massive electrical operations, such as Sturgis, South Dakota, where the local infrastructure grows from serving the approximately 7,000 full-time residents to about 700,000 attendees of the annual motorcycle rally. Other destination options include Las Vegas, New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina. The national honoree also will receive $1,500 in premium-quality, professional-grade Klein Tools products.
“We are thrilled to honor these electricians and their contributions to the industry. They are exceptionally skilled professionals who provide critical services to their customers and communities, while serving as role models for future generations of electricians,” says Greg Palese, vice president of marketing for Klein Tools. “Selecting an overall winner will be as challenging as ever, since all of our finalists exemplify the values and characteristics that the best electricians offer on jobsites every day.”