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The Electric Current Blog

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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.

 

STATEWIDE JOURNEYMAN AND APPRENTICE LICENSE FOR MARYLAND ELECTRICIANS

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

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DC FAST CHARGING STATIONS ARE FULL SPEED AHEAD IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

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

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GREEN ENERGY COLLABORATION

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

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REFLECTIONS ON A RETIRING BUSINESS MANAGER

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

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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’.

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

IBEW Local 26 and Environmentalists Pursue a Green Energy Collaboration that Supports Workers 

Lanham, MD – On August 28th environmentalists, contractors, manufacturers, and union members formed a new coalition. The goal of this collaboration is to advocate for labor standards in green energy legislation at the state and local level while working together on active federal projects.

The event was hosted by IBEW Local 26 at their headquarters in Lanham, Maryland and focused on finding ways to pursue a greener future without sacrificing workers’ equity.

The attendees discussed creating partnerships on upcoming projects like EV charging stations and large-scale solar arrays. They also discussed legislative priorities like prevailing wage, wage theft protections, and community workforce agreements.

Historically, labor and the green movement have been at odds over the acceleration towards a clean economy because of low wages in green tech construction and rampant worker abuses.

“It’s a tough ask for a mine worker making ~$60,000/yr or a pipeline welder making ~$70,000/yr to cut their salaries in half installing solar panels, with no healthcare, retirement, or time off,” said Don Slaiman. “The solar industry was rolled out by the Rahm Emanuel staffed White House which prioritized investing in green entrepreneurs to kick start and drive the industry which resulted in prioritizing a race to the bottom. The Biden Administration is emphasizing labor standards and matching sustainable jobs with the goal of achieving a sustainable environment. Green Energy careers!”

This partnership between the labor and environmentalist movements aims to mend that rift and ensure that, moving forward, the transition to a clean economy is equitable for everyone in the community.

The solar installation field represents a unique opportunity for organized labor and the IBEW. These large-scale solar arrays need to be built by union contractors. At the same time, the current solar installers have an opportunity, a pathway to a meaningful career with higher pay and benefits as union electricians.

“Ultimately, we have to make sure we prioritize creating equity as we make transitions to a greener economy,” said Slaiman. “We have to keep both the environment and disaffected communities in mind by continuing to provide good wages and benefits. If we all work together, it is absolutely possible.”

 

Statewide Journeyman and Apprentice License for Maryland Electricians

electrician cutting wires

Thanks to the Maryland Electricians Act, a statewide Journeyman and Apprentice License is finally available

For years, Local 26 electricians had to carry numerous county and city journeyman licenses to practice our trade in Maryland. Finally, this has changed.

The Maryland Electricians Act now offers a statewide Journeyman and Apprentice License. This license goes into effect July 1, 2022.

The Maryland Electricians Act comes after seven years of negotiation in the statehouse and plenty of testifying by your Local 26 representatives. We owe thanks to the bi-partisan effort led by Delegate (R) Kevin Hornberger and Senator (D) Cory McCray (IBEW Local 24 member).

This act brings plenty of important changes to the current licensure process for electricians on both the state and local level.

The crown jewel of the Maryland Electricians Act is an examination waiver for those who hold Maryland jurisdictional licenses. For example, if a worker holds a journeyman’s license in Montgomery County, they can simply apply electronically via the Electricians Act and a Montgomery County will then verify with the state. The worker will pay a nominal fee and then they will receive a Statewide Journeyman’s License without an exam. The deadline for this exam waiver is December 31, 2022.

Another important change to highlight in the Maryland Electricians Act is that it now requires at least one licensed master electrician or journeyperson electrician to be present at each electrical services jobsite. An apprentice electrician can no longer work on a jobsite without a licensed journeyperson electrician present.

There is not yet reciprocity with the District or the state of Virginia, but the Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing is hopeful it can be done. Once in effect, we encourage all journeypersons to obtain and maintain a license in the District, Maryland, and Virginia.

By having a system of statewide-licensed journeypeople, we are helping to unite and support fellow Electrical Alliance contractors, the Local 26, and NECA.

To see the full list of changes brought in by the act, to apply for a License, or to enquire about any questions, go to Maryland Electricians Act.

The Reach at The Kennedy Center

Electrical Alliance Honored With Every WBC Craftsman Award

Electrical Alliance contractors, powered by their well-trained, skilled, union workforce, provide the highest level of quality for the jobs they service and supply workers for. Their workforce’s attention to safety, elevates them above the rest. Thus, it is no wonder that year-over-year Electrical Alliance electricians continue to sweep The Washington Building Congress (WBC) awards.

Electrical Apprenticeship Program Celebrates 2019 Graduates

The Electrical Alliance is pleased to announce the 2019 graduating class of the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) Apprenticeship Program. On Saturday, June 1st, graduates were honored in a celebration held in Greenbelt, MD. These men and women completed the program and became Journeyman Electricians over intensive classroom and job site training. As apprentices, they began earning good wages on day one of their training. With their honed skills and newfound knowledge, these graduates have secured high-paying, in-demand careers that offer generous benefits, all without incurring student loans.

New Electricity Laws Enacted to Combat Climate Change

With global warming becoming a major concern, nations around the world are thinking of ways to halt climate change.

What is global warming? According to National Geographic, global warming is the gradual increase of the planet’s overall temperature. This increase correlates with the increase in the human population. Human activity has been labeled as the primary cause of global warming due to the volume of fossil fuels burned. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas caused an increase in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and has therefore strengthened the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is the process in which the sun’s heat reaches the earth’s atmosphere and gets trapped by greenhouse gases, causing the earth to grow warmer. In simple terms, an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes an increase in the amount of heat absorbed, therefore raising the earth’s temperature.