The Electric Current Blog

Getting Young Women Involved with the Electrical Trade: Our Session at Camp NAWIC

The Electrical Alliance recently led a session for Camp NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) with the goal of inspiring girls to get involved with the electrical trade. 


Camp NAWIC is a free program that teaches young girls new construction skills. Participants in high school get a chance to explore career opportunities and alternatives to college while networking and having fun with hands-on experience. 


Our session focused on the electrical trade and the various pathways to becoming a union electrician with IBEW Local 26. Led by JATC 26 instructors, the girls got to engage with real materials, tools, techniques, and math used by working electricians. They even got to experience sections of apprenticeship class modules and demonstrations that we’ve used at career fairs in the past. 


The young women learned the requirements for entering the electrical trade, the many aspects of life as a journeyman, and examples of the specific work done by electricians. They also enjoyed demonstrations of exothermic welding, proper safety protocols, and equipment. 


“We want to see more women enjoying and benefitting from the electrical trade because they’re still under-represented,” said Cordelia Evans . “It’s a much more affordable option when compared to college. In a few years, they could have a rewarding, financially stable career and no student debt. So, by exposing them to it now, we hope it’ll stay front of mind as they start making decisions about steps after high school.” 


Do you know a young woman looking for a career that sets them up for lifelong security and benefits? Check out the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee’s (JATC) electrical apprenticeship program for details on all three track options and instructions on how to apply. 


Solving Siting Problems Through Strategic Partnerships

Renewable Ready: Solving Siting Problems Through Strategic Partnerships

On June 21, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Fourth District leadership and renewables team held the DMV Solar Summit. At this event, participants discussed renewable energies, focusing on how workforce partnerships can assist with local permitting efforts.

Members of the IBEW and solar developers were in attendance, including 31 organizations, renewable energy experts, community engagement teams, and construction teams.

The IBEW always advocates for healthy job opportunities, and this strategic discussion was no different.

“When it comes to the Solar Industry, our members understand the challenges of eco-related permits,” said David Pala. “The Fourth District is there to help everyone involved navigate siting problems as efficiently as possible. It’s a win-win for all—it supports bountiful jobs which feed back into the community, all while still decreasing the project’s carbon footprint.”

After a detailed discussion on how the IBEW can increase community support through tactical stakeholder engagement, there was an immersive tour of the IBEW training facility. Participants learned about IBEW’s registered best-in-class apprenticeship training programs.

The IBEW Fourth District is comprised of Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Within this area, the IBEW represents over 55,000 workers. These workers are employed in a wide variety of industries with 91 local unions within the district.

For more information on how the IBEW’s Fourth District is leading the industry, head to

Congratulations to the JATC Graduating Class of 2023

On Saturday, June 3, the IBEW Local 26 Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training (JATC) Committee held a graduation for the Class of 2023. The event took place at the Martin’s Crosswinds Greenbelt and recognized inside wiremen, telecom, and upgrade categories graduates.  

There were 206 graduates in the Inside Apprenticeship Program, three Telecommunication apprentices, and 69 Upgrade graduates. Hundreds of family members, friends, and colleagues gathered to celebrate each of their accomplishments. 

“Everyone in the room understands the value of a Union Apprenticeship Program, from the wages, the benefits, the trade experience, to the knowledge base,” said NAME, TITLE. “It’s inspiring to see them come together from all their varied backgrounds and unite in making IBEW Local 26 the home of the best trained and most skilled electrical workers in the industry.”

If you or someone you know is looking for a rewarding career in the electrical trade, applications for the JATC are open year-round. You could be at one of the next graduation ceremonies, ready to celebrate a new path as a skilled craftsperson. 

Get more information about starting a career in Electrical and Telecommunications Technologies.

guests at event.

Supporting Woman and Minority-owned Businesses

Supporting minority-owned businesses is a powerful way to promote economic, social, and cultural progress, while advancing diversity, equality, and inclusion in our society.

On May 11, 2023 the Electrical Alliance, Washington DC Chapter NECA,& LOCAL 26 IBEW hosted an event to present opportunities for minority-owned businesses. Electrical and general contractors had the chance to explore joint ventures and partnerships, and network with business executives, elected officials, and community leaders. Business opportunities for publicly funded projects based on new Virginia laws and workforce opportunities for local residents were also presented. 

Minority-owned businesses often play a crucial role in revitalizing and strengthening underserved communities. We are committed to reversing the systemic barriers and discrimination that minority-owned businesses have historically faced. We accomplish this by providing access to resources and opportunities and provide them with the necessary support, visibility, and resources to thrive. 

Electrical Alliance, Washington DC Chapter NECA,& LOCAL 26 IBEW are proud to uplift and support all of our entrepreneurs, contractors, and their communities and families.

 guests at event. guests at event.

ship in ocean.

The Role of Electricians in Promoting a Sustainable Environment

Electricians are the frontline soldiers in the fight for a sustainable future. They install and maintain every major weapon we have against climate change from decarbonization, electrification, and solar arrays to wind turbines and electric vehicle charging stations. 

The most skilled and experienced electricians with these systems happen to belong to the IBEW.

IBEW Local 26 has been partnering with environmentalists, nonprofits, governments, and industry leaders to advance the transition to a sustainable carbon future. Almost a year ago, Local 26 created the Green Energy Collaboration, bringing stakeholders together to prepare for the upcoming Inflation Reduction Act grants and tax credits. The Biden administration has also incentivized using union labor and the IBEW has been happy to teach the industry about new labor standards.

On March 20th IBEW Local 26 co-hosted an event with The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) and the Baltimore/D.C.-Metro Building Trades Council. The event, Inflation Reduction Act Tax Credits and Workforce Standards Workshop, brought in headliners Betony Jones, Director of the Office of Energy Jobs, and Congressman Glenn Ivey.

“Energizing people to fully take advantage of incentives in the environmental realm is important work,” said Congressman Glenn Ivey. “Talking about the economy in ways that show just how important the Inflation Reduction Act is to everyday Americans is one way to build momentum. I look forward to being a part of this forum to disseminate meaningful information.”

The workshop was an opportunity for contractors and developers to learn how to take advantage of IRA tax credits. The IRA includes tax credits and workforce standards for clean energy jobs in the solar industry, electric vehicle (EV) charging, energy efficiency, fleet electrification, clean energy, and renewable energy sectors. 

The event also promoted business opportunities for local contractors with an emphasis on women and minority-owned businesses. It did so by encouraging the creation of clean energy jobs that pay prevailing wages and provide registered apprenticeship training.

Being at the forefront of changing technology is nothing new for the IBEW. For years, our electricians have received special training to install wind turbines off the coast. For example, in the DMV, Local 26 offers EVTIP certification to install EV charging stations. In addition, Kelly Electric, one of our NECA contractors, built the largest solar array in the history of DC. 

The Electrical Alliance of IBEW and NECA will continue to prioritize protecting our environment through innovative sustainability solutions and partnerships like the Green Energy Collaboration.

Green Energy logo

Women at construction site.

International Women’s Day Spotlight:  Contemporary Electrical Services

This International Women’s Day, we’re showcasing Contemporary Electrical Services (CES), an Electrical Alliance contractor passionate about creating a more equitable workplace. CES strives to create equal opportunity for everybody by actively recruiting a diverse workforce and valuing the perspectives of all employees. 

“Since 1989, CES has been a leader in the electrical contracting industry and an advocate for a wide variety of causes,” said Human Resources Director CES Kara Cuskelly. 

For example, in 2022, CES sponsored the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington Youth & Real Estate Event to invest in opportunities for our youth. 

CES has also started an initiative to help women in the industry network with one another. To do so, two women on their team created a Women’s Golf Clinic to help women gain more confidence attending corporate golf outings. 

“Some of our team members are also members of The National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC), which is committed to championing women to impact the direction of the construction industry,” Cuskelly added. 

In honor of March’s Women in Construction week, CES is saying thanks to the talented, committed women on their team.

“In a predominantly male industry, our women are extremely hard working and a tremendous asset to the team,” said Cuskelly. “We encourage women to join the trades and hope that we see an increase within this demographic in our near future.” 

Women in office with dogs.

president Biden speaking at IBEW Local Union 26.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers speech from IBEW Local 26 in Lanham

On February 15, U.S. President Joe Biden visited the IBEW Local 26 in Lanham to deliver updates on the economy and the government’s initiatives.

The President outlined his plan to reduce the deficit and raise the US national debt ceiling, urging Republicans to help him do so.

Members of the IBEW Local 26 note Biden’s economic plan has contributed to a growing manufacturing boom across the country which is helping to create jobs, including jobs in unions.

“President Biden has long been an advocate for organizing and empowering unions, so we were proud to have him deliver important updates from the IBEW Local 26,” said Joe Dabbs, Business Manager, IBEW Local 26.

During his appearance, President Biden also ordered the federal government to do more in combating racial inequality. The order, signed during Black History Month amid increased public pressure, aims to improve access to federal programs, services, and activities for disadvantaged communities.

“We were very pleased to see this order put in place and I hope it will help us all as a nation continue to forge forward…”

For more information on President Biden’s initiatives to support unions, go to

Looking Forward

As we begin 2023, I wanted to reflect on goals for the next 12 months. I’m so proud of all we have accomplished together in 2022 and I believe we will build on that momentum.

Online Presence

We’re in the process of revamping the IBEW and Electrical Alliance websites, as well as our marketing campaigns to bring in new members and contractors. We want to continue putting an emphasis on growing our contractors through initiatives with local governments, SWAM enterprises, and general contractors.

The Electrical Alliance site has been steadily receiving upgrades directed by the marketing team at Drio, who have done a great job so far. The Local 26 website is also being modernized with the help of our current hosts, Web Connectivity. The goal is the same for both: Create streamlined, modern sites that serve as a gateway into our trade, in concert with a new package of digital advertisements.

Expansion in Southern Maryland

We are looking to expand the Local 26 office in Southern Maryland. Having had a presence in Southern Maryland for over 30 years, we plan to extend our footprint by offering apprenticeship training and continuing education classes.

Environmentalist Collaborations

It is important that we partner with our environmentalist brothers and sisters as the grants come out from the Inflation Reduction Act. This will ensure we win work that upgrades our country’s infrastructure. These are the projects that will set us up for success, not just this year, but for many to come.

In 2022, we started the Green Energy Collaboration between labor and environmentalists. In 2023, we’ll continue following the new projects that come down from the IRA and give guidance to developers on how to best meet labor standards by utilizing our contractors.

I believe 2023 will be a landmark year for us. We will attract new contractors, grow existing contractors, and establish creative partnerships. Here’s to another successful year with IBEW Local 26 and the Electrical Alliance.


Joe Dabbs
Business Manager
IBEW Local 26


Happy Holidays

Wishing you a season filled with joy and hope!

It’s been another eventful year at the Electrical Alliance. Here are some of our favorite stories from 2022.



The Maryland Electricians Act now offers a statewide Journeyman and Apprentice License.

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Fast Charging Stations are bringing convenience to electric car owners in the Washington, D.C. area.

Read More >


Environmentalists, contractors, manufacturers, and union members formed a new coalition to advocate for labor standards in green energy legislation.

Read More >


Celebrating the legacy of George Hogan, business manager of the IBEW Local 26.

Read More >


We’re so excited to have partnered with Maryland Center for Construction Education & Innovation on the video ‘The Life Cycle of an Electrician’.

Read More >


Thank you for making 2022 a truly outstanding year. We send you our best wishes for a prosperous and healthy new year.

JATC grad

Video Premiere: ‘The Life Cycle of an Electrician’

We’re so excited to have partnered with Maryland Center for Construction Education & Innovation on the video ‘The Life Cycle of an Electrician’.

The video follows Che’Maiah, Brian, and Chad as they discuss the career stages for an electrician. Skills-based education, hands-on training, and expert guidance from local contractors allow apprentices to move up and eventually become a master electrician or business owner.

Check out the video to see what you can accomplish as part the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee’s apprenticeship program: