IBEW 1245 is proud to announce the two winners of the Jairus Ayeta Line School Scholarship, Uriel Cruz and Efrain Reyes.
Uriel Cruz resides in Lodi and currently works as a small engine repair mechanic at a family-owned hardware store. In his scholarship essay, Cruz focused on the electric utility industry and his desire to become a first-generation lineman.
Electricity is the heart that keeps the system going. It is a necessity and operations would be halted for individuals, businesses, and communities if it was down. Linemen aid in the efficiency of that process by utilizing their skillset to ensure damages are mitigated and progress is possible. I want to become a part of the solution to help. Becoming a lineman would allow me to do that.
“It’s a blessing to receive the Ayeta scholarship. I can’t wait to continue Jairus Ayeta’s legacy, but I’m also excited to create my own,” Cruz said upon learning he’d won the all-expenses-paid trip to line school. “Both my parents migrated to the United States with the American dream in mind. Although neither were able to accomplish their dream, I’m here to pick up where they left off and finish the job. I have a long road ahead of me, but I will enjoy every second and moment. I cannot wait to top out as a journeyman lineman so I can turn back around and help the next one in line.”
Efrain Reyes is a lifelong resident of Salinas and is working as a field service technician in the solar energy field. His essay explains how working safely in the electrical industry has prepared him for this endeavor.
The main aspect of work we focus on while on the job is safety. We can’t afford to bypass any steps when it comes to what we do. There’s a saying we all go by at the morning meetings before heading out into the field and it’s, “Better safe than sorry.” The power line industry has expectations just as high as the ones I have personally set for myself…. Lineman school will only amplify the skills I already hold, and I want to be able to apply them to the IBEW mission.
“I’m honored being awarded the Ayeta Scholarship on behalf of IBEW 1245. I’ve been trying to pursue this career for quite some time, but it was never something I thought could be possible,” said Reyes. “Most important to me is representing IBEW 1245 in the best way and to be part of the next generation of power lineman that keeps the country powered. This entire experience is a privilege and I’m truly grateful for this opportunity to showcase my skills in the name of both Jairus Ayeta and IBEW 1245.”
Cruz and Reyes will attend line school at the Northwest JATC Training Center (VOLTA) located in Oregon in September. The scholarship includes full tuition, fees, tools, lodging and $60 per day for meals. The union’s goal is to have them working for 1245-represented employers shortly thereafter.
Established in 2020, the Jairus Ayeta scholarship is named in honor of an IBEW 1245 apprentice who was the victim of a fatal workplace tragedy on August 4, 2018 while restoring power at the Carr Fire outside Redding, California. IBEW 1245 will begin accepting applications for the next Jairus Ayeta line school scholarship October 1 – 31, 2022. Additional details can be found here: https://ibew1245.com/scholarships/