Hello, my sisters and brothers,
I pray you and yours are healthy and well. Recently I had a conversation with a new apprentice. I had given him the “I am my brother’s and sister’s keeper” sticker, and he went on to say that he thought he had joined a Brotherhood. He also stated that the JW he was working with said he didn’t have time to show him how to do anything. The JW told him to learn in school.
I promised that apprentice that I would address this in my next email blast. So here it is.
Let’s understand that it is the job of every JW is to train the new. Yes, they get the theory and the classes, but job site training is truly important. That includes every CW and apprentice in any classification. We need to train on the job. The future of our IBEW is in the hands of those we train. We should take the time to give advice. Show and lead by example. If you are not training your replacement, then you are not doing your job. We must share our knowledge. This is a message we all need to take to heart. There might be 10 different ways to get the same task done. Explain and show them everything. Take the time. Each one, teach one. This is a tradition. Teaching the new how to work safely and skillfully is what we sell.
I understand we are in different times, but that does not excuse us from training new members. I always say, “take care of each other,” “lift each other” and that includes training the new. Brotherhood starts with participation. Take the time to get to know those new members. Take the time to enhance their skill level. Teach them what to do but also what not to do. We have so many talented sisters and brothers. Training the new to be the best is a plus for the future of our IBEW. Training the new helps our contractors in business. We give them an upper hand because we are more skilled than those who non-union. Contractors get more jobs and we have more places to work.
I cannot say it enough…look after each other. That apprentice or CW is your brother or sister. That JW is your sister or brother. In any classification. Truly we are family. We are stronger together. I am always available to assist you in any way. I am available to speak with or answer questions. I may not have the answer at that moment, but I will get you the correct information. I’ll say it again…We are in this together and I am here for you. I am honored to represent you. Never hesitate to reach out if you have an issue. Never do anything unsafe. If there is a question, stop and call me.
May God bless, protect, and watch over you and yours.
Yours in Brotherhood,
Bro. Ivan De Herrera, Jr.