In terms of size, Lincoln, Nebraska is considered a small town. However, since the year 2000 Lincoln has grown more than 26 percent and with the town growing this fast this means more homes and businesses to power, and a larger area to cover for the local utility – Lincoln Electric System. With the help of IBEW Local 265 and 1536, the local utility is getting a major upgrade.
With a total project cost of $100 million, there are several floors of office space, a training center, and a massive garage for LES’s fleet of vehicles among other spaces, all of course wired and tested by IBEW 265. It’s an LES-owned and operated building, but every LES employee is a member of IBEW 1536, the outside local in the area. IBEW 265 Business Manager Chris Callihan says, “For 265, being able to help 1536 move forward into the future with their new operations center and headquarters is a pretty big piece to us.”
As the city has grown, so has the IBEW in the area, in fact, so qualified and professional are the latest class of apprentices, that over 80 percent were hired by LES upon graduation. One of those apprentices is IBEW 265 member Peter Alloway, “My apprenticeship overlapped this job so I was really fortunate that Capitol City promoted me right when I turned out, but to be able to be put into that position right after my apprenticeship, it’s just a testament to the IBEW training program and how contractors look at guys that go through that program.”
But even as the building is now open, the shine hasn’t worn off even a little bit because of the nature of the work being done from it. IBEW 1536 member Paul Moody says he’s proud of what he does, “But honestly it comes down to just helping people, like when I run out on an outage and someone’s out of power and I get their power back on and they come out and they thank me and they’re so grateful how quick our response was that honestly is it’s like a rush. It’s really what keeps me going every day and honestly that’s the part of this job that I loved the most.”