The mission of the Reach out and Engage Next-gen Electrical Workers (RENEW) initiative is to inspire the next generation of IBEW workers to become active in their local union by focusing on issues important to younger workers, providing education about the IBEW and the labor movement, and fostering relationships with members and local union leadership.

For some locals, this initiative is finally becoming a reality. Watch this feature on the RENEW program being implemented at IBEW Local 177 in Jacksonville, FL.

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News Brief: IBEW Local 177 RENEW Program

The IBEW RENEW program is all about getting our young workers more active and involved. And the success that IBEW Local 177 has had has been so good they’ve actually taken their story on the road.

RENEW, which stands for Reach out and Engage Next-generation Electrical Workers, is a program created by the IBEW to inspire younger apprentices and journeymen to become more active in their local union.

Local 177 has taken that to heart, and have seen massive strides in younger member participation.

Tyler Baxter: Journeyman, IBEW Local 177
“Not only is it a program where we’re trying to instill the love for unionism and being activists in the local union level, but the IO gave us an opportunity to kind of implement other things as well to, to create avenues for mentorships, to create avenues for people coming together, to create avenues to bring the generational gap together.”

Local 177’s RENEW program has been so successful in getting their younger apprentices involved in the IBEW; they were invited to spread the word at NTI.

Todd Stafford: Executive Director, NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Alliance
“It’s a matter of incorporating the brotherhood into the apprenticeship level of training. Such if they get a well-rounded education, not just in technical skills, but also what it means to belong to a brotherhood. How to get involved, what do you want to be active for. I actually asked them to come to NTI…because I want them to share their success with other programs…when we get apprentices involved in the brotherhood, and they understand what it means to belong to an organization…we don’t lose them. We keep them in our industry.”

RENEW not only is a great way to help younger members connect with industry leaders, it has also helped bring a sense of purpose into the local communities

Tyler Baxter: Journeyman, IBEW Local 177
Our organizer…wanted to get the young workers involved in the organizing process, so they invite us to Habitat for Humanity. We went out to Jacksonville Beach, and we actually wired up some houses for free…to help those in need. But what was really cool about it was there was also some non-union electrical contractors there as well, and we were able to go there, and not only help others in need, but we were also able to talk about the values of the IBEW and the importance of organizing all electrical workers, and it was a great experience.

For the IBEW to continue to thrive and grow, young members must continue to be active and shape the future direction of our union.

RENEW is vital to the lifeblood of the IBEW…I clearly see a permanent initiative that is only there to bring others together for the sake of solidarity, for the betterment of our union as a whole. And I really truly believe it can exist as a mentorship development program.

Mentoring, bringing members together, and instilling a sense of solidarity are just a few of the positive impacts the RENEW program has had on Local 177.

Reporting from Ann Arbor, Michigan for IBEW Hour Power, I’m Matthew Walton.


Lonnie Stephenson

IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson has been working with the IBEW Hour Power team since he was elected International President in 2015. President Stephenson creates short videos entitled “President’s Message” to bring important announcements and inspirational messages right to your computer screen.

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