The event was highlighted by positive remarks from Gary Young, Local 48 Business Manager, reminding the recent grads of the many accomplishments over the past few years, while also noting a remarkable number of lunches made and miles driven while in the process.
Tim Gauthier, Oregon-Columbia NECA Chapter Manager also provide some thoughts on the immense impact the organized electrical industry has on the local economy, and the huge number of families that it supports, providing health care, retirement and a great community in which we raise our families.
The keynote speaker for the evening, Port of Portland Executive Director, Bill Wyatt, provided background on the Port and the properties, facilities and families in which it supports, along with the general public that utilize its services daily. Mr Wyatt pointed to a number of large undertakings over the last 10 years or so that the Port has engaged and completed, in which NECA and IBEW have been a critical part in achieving those accomplishments. Wyatt spoke to technology and advancements in which we cannot even plan for yet, but we must look forward with some amount of perception and foresight, since large capital developments tend to span large amounts of time. In the end, Mr Wyatt congratulated the newest group of Journey level workers to the industry as he spoke of his excitement for the future as we continue to train the next generation of electrical workers, further enabling the region to be a leader by example and seeking higher and higher achievements.
Individual achievements were recognized also, as Robert Meyers, Jr. accrued a 91.25% GPA leading the Limited Energy graduates and Jamaica Hale set the mark of 95.44%, as the top Inside graduate. Both received gifts and recognition from Industry partners, Klein Tools and Milwaukee Tools, who were on hand to present the awards. Jamaica did a wonderful job recapping the many hours of classroom training and on the job experiences that each graduate could identify with. Bary Bruner was also recognized for his generous contribution to the industry as an Instructor and journey level wireman, as well as a mentor and someone to look up to. Bary retired in 2015 and yet continues to participate in Orientation training of newly registered apprentices on a part time basis, giving generously of his time.
The event came to a close as the 87 graduates crossed the stage receiving their diploma’s as well as commemorative coins from the Electrical Training Alliance, gift cards from Platt Electric supply and coupons from Danner boots. The final duty of the graduates was to don their new NECA-IBEW jackets and pose for a group photo which will be proudly displayed in the Training Center lobby, along with the many graduating classes that have come before them.
The Electrical Industry should be very proud of the great job they have done, having involvement in the training and maturing process of these many fine men and women of our community.